Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT July 29th 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for the session was “Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limón.

Our prompt was“Write your own instructions for not giving up.”

More details will be posted on this session soon, so check back!

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.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday, August 3rd at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

Copyright © 2017 by Ada Limón. 
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 15, 2017, 
by the Academy of American Poets.

9 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT July 29th 2020

  1. Janine M Mariscotti

    Instructions to myself on not giving up

    Fine then –
    I’ll stay awake even when I want to shut my eyes and turn from the sheer tragedy of life

    Fine then –
    I’ll love again even after the searing pain of losing my beloved

    Fine then –
    I’ll live out loud even though I’ll die

    Liked by 2 people

  2. al3793

    Instructions on not giving up require a give and take.
    When the imposed mania has just about gotten to you,
    you’re fed up
    reason comes over you and
    reminds you of the good you do,
    the power in it
    to heal,
    to help others
    rewrite a sentence from their lives or
    write a new chapter,
    you can’t give up,
    you don’t want to.
    Then all at once, again
    you feel like you can’t plod the pavement one more step
    the landscape seems too rough to traverse.
    And then the fabric of the lives
    you touch and how that fabric touches you
    returns the color to your cheeks,
    your life.
    You are rejuvenated,
    desirous to press on
    another day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “To think of waste, of filth, of dirt, of everything
    one wouldn’t want their own people to be–
    We often try to measure pain with pain,
    misery with deeper cuts,
    hurt with a tighter noose,
    worth with higher terraces,
    healing with more pills.
    We gotta talk, heal- by opening up the wound
    and see beyond the voices inside our heads.
    It was never easy, never assigned to us on paper,
    or by force….
    but it is meant for us
    sometimes alone,
    sometimes holding someone’s hand.”

    thank you for another great session.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Instructions on not giving up~~~

    Stand tall,
    stay strong in heart.

    Be proud of where you have come
    and to where you are going.

    Let criticism be a guide to improvement,
    rather than a spear in your side.

    See the sunshine in every day
    whether it is cloudy or downcast.

    Be always hopeful,
    hopeful that tomorrow will be a brighter day,
    a day filled with the gifts the Creator has given to you.

    Lastly, be courageous,
    be courageous to ford all roadblocks that may lie in your path.
    For through your passage, your soul is made stronger,
    you are made stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dinah Ryan

    At the speed of light, faster even that that, at the speed of a synoptic flash, everything speeds by and is gone. The now and the now and the now becoming, faster than comprehension, the then and the then and the then. What choice is there but to live in that disappearing, displaced, abandoned, and retreating present? What choice is there within this fleeting experience? The choice to do what is kind, what is compassionate, tender, attentive, and beatiful. Then the retreating infinite is redeemed and I can face the speeding, relentless next.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Get
    Sing, smile, think of things you long to do
    Keep your focus as smalls as you need to to see the joy in everyday
    Or dream big, plan wildly and skim over the detail.
    Laugh a lot, especially at yourself

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am baptised as Sisyphus. They mock me for not giving up. They don’t know my story. I was born in a money-minting city with grey skies. The hospital was set afire by the rioteers while the doctors and the nurses kept hitting me to get the vagitus. They didn’t give up. A nurse gave me a tiny sea stone to suck. I sucked the stone thinking of it as my mother’s nipple and cried finally. Since then I have been sucking several sea stones to quench my thirst in order to keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

    • al3793

      Swati, your imagination, command of language and story telling are inspiring. Makes me want to keep reading and keep writing. The line, “They don’t know my story.” has worked on me. Narrative humility is a gift of Narrative Medicine. I can see the little fists of a newborn struggling to take her first breath. Andre


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