Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT May 13th 2020

Thank you to today’s 41 participants who joined us from around the United States and the world, including India, France, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands!

After introductions and a centering exercise, we shared an especially rich discussion of the 1985 painting Camas para Sueños (Beds for Dreams), by Carmen Lomas Garza, posted below. We entered into our discussion through the following questions, “How do you enter this painting? Where did your eye start, and where did it end?” Our eyes went many places: into the shadows, to the moon, among flowers, and to childhood. We thought about the frame of the window within the outer frame of the image as a whole, and we noticed how looking into someone’s window can feel voyeuristic. The artistic style evoked terms like “storybook” and “playful,” and we noticed the surprise of daffodils, which appear in early spring, beneath leafy trees of summer, lending a quality of magical realism. This sense was amplified by the way the daffodils and trees were both in bloom, and each item appeared in its ideal form — a full moon, showy flowers, full trees, the straight lines of the house. We also explored elements of dualism, including concealment/unconcealment, darkness/light, artificial light/natural light, and outdoors/indoors. And we talked about the quiet mood, a moment in time, true safety and security, confinement and expanse. Details such as a crucifix, an apron and daffodils inspired connections to symbolism of fertility, peace, hope and joy. 

We wrote to the prompt, “Write about something that stays with you,” which evoked responses that often had a flavor of magical realism that echoed the painting we had just discussed. Specific details of the painting, such as the moon and the flora, appeared as elements in the writings. In one, they were woven into the narrator’s own story so that the narrator seemed to move in and out of the world of the painting. Some participants wrote about nostalgia, memory, childhood, family, and reaching across time and space through generations to loved ones.  Another participant wrote about “liquid love,” a phrase that stood out to many of us for both its alliteration and its metaphorical possibilities. 

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Please join us for our next sessions: Friday, May 15th at 7pm EDT in English or Thursday May 14th at 18:00 CET in Polish, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Carmen Lomas Garza, Camas para Sueños (Beds for Dreams), 1985

5 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT May 13th 2020

  1. al3793

    I wrote a memoir story for my Creative Writing class last summer titled, The Confessional. The assignment was to write about something that has been present to you at several points in your life. I remembered my first time. The curtain was heavy, heavy enough to move you at 7. I remember the its drab burgundy color that blended into the dark cherry color of the wood. I remembered the darkness of the space and how little light emanated from the bulb above that nearly opaque, barely translucent screen, that revealed a silhouette to go with the voice.

    I wrote a lot. I’m sure my classmates wondered when it would end being such a novice writer. But as I read and reread I was struck by how much I remembered.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Moon watches down toward us. She scans her part of the world.
    Perhaps her attention goes back to an area she’s been watching.
    Has the girl gone beyond the fear of her first menstruation?
    Has the roan mare given birth in her pasture?
    Or maybe she scans her eyes tonight city to city, township to township.
    Perhaps she notices a tree and wonders, “Has that tree always been there?”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Elsemarijn

    A lovely day in spring,
    A cozy house, a safe home,
    A place with clean beds and pretty outfits.. basically a perfect place to grow up..
    But I keep dreaming at night of what will be out there in the world.
    What’s there to explore? In different places, country’s or even a different universe…?
    Will it be reality one day or are dreams only for in bed…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. vi.da

    Woman behind bars

    Cut into four:
    two parts duvet
    one part apron
    the rest is neatly combed hair.

    In the blindingly lit room—no room
    for the moon—
    the yellow daffodils
    have stained her dress.

    behind the window
    next to the cupboard
    making the bed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. michele348

    Something that has stayed with me~~

    Day circled in red came and went.
    Anxious expectant mom, first-timer.
    Every twinge, could it be?
    But no. But no.

    Days went by, near to a week past due.
    Feeling like an over-inflated balloon, ready to pop.
    Everyone on edge, wondering and waiting and waiting.
    But then something new started happening.

    A strange and wonderful change of events.
    Pain getting serious, it’s time to go.
    Every bump in the road magnified 10X.
    We’re finally there.
    Brought to a sparsely decorated room with strange-looking equipment.

    Other moms looking as distraught as me.
    Each biding her time, each saying a prayer.
    Nurses running in and out,
    checking me, checking machines that go beep, beep, beep.
    It seems it’s showtime.

    Moved to delivery.
    Push, breathe, push, breathe
    Pain is intense.
    I tell myself women have done this since the beginning of time.
    But why do I feel so overwhelmed and underprepared?

    An eternity passes and still no baby.
    Push, push, push, groan, groan, groan.
    Is there an end in sight?
    Things are not going by plan, but in life what usually does?

    Moved to a surgical suite for a different approach.
    Let’s cut to the chase, excuse the pun, since by now you are as tired as I was back then.
    Baby is delivered, a little girl.
    With 10 fingers and 10 toes,
    and a loud, beautiful cry, she makes her way into the world.

    She’s placed on my chest,
    so we can meet.
    Her big hazel eyes are wide open looking up into mine,
    as I tell her I love her and hold her close.
    She’s a true blessing from above.

    This little baby girl has grown to be a mom to her own.
    So this journey of life keeps rolling along.
    This memory is strong as it lingers in my heart.
    I pray that nothing will ever keep us apart.


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