Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT October 7th 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text was the poem “The Death of Marilyn Monroe” by Sharon Olds, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write about a time you stood in a doorway.”

More details about this session will be posted 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, October 12th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

The Death of Marilyn Monroe  by Sharon Olds

The ambulance men touched her cold
body, lifted it, cold as iron,
onto the stretcher, tried to close the
mouth, closed the eyes, tied the
arms to the sides, moved a caught
strand of hair, as if it mattered,
saw the shape of her breasts, flattened by
gravity, under the sheet,
carried her, as if it were she,
down the steps.

These men were never the same. They went out
afterwards, as they always did,
for a drink or two, but they could not meet
each other’s eyes.

                             Their lives took
a turn--one had nightmares, strange
pains, impotence, depression. One did not
like his work, his wife looked
different, his kids. Even death
seemed different to him–a place where she
would be waiting,

and one found himself standing at night
in the doorway to a room of sleep, listening to a
woman breathing, just an ordinary

"Death of Marilyn Monroe," by Sharon Olds 
from The Dead and the Living (Alfred A. Knopf).

5 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12pm EDT October 7th 2020

  1. Renee Daniels

    I can still clearly see the hospital room number. 402. I had tried to call my dad all day to find out how mom’s surgery had gone. All day, he didn’t answer. He met me at the door to her room.
    “How’s mom?”
    “Mom has cancer.”
    I feel faint.
    I feel frightened.
    The number on her door becomes blurry.


  2. A time I stood in a doorway~~~

    I look ahead through the doorway before me.
    I peer into the future.
    Life has been touched by tragic events.
    Where to move from here?
    Do I stand still,
    my feet locked in place?
    Life will become stagnant, meaningless
    if this is the choice.

    But a light, a faint light passing through the doorway,
    grabbing my attention.
    It beckons me forward.
    And so I move slowly at first in search of the source.

    The light envelopes me,
    and my spirit is lifted.
    I have the will to move forward,
    to be a part of the living.
    To make my mistakes,
    but also to have my triumphs.
    And so my life moves on.


  3. At the Threshold

    Standing at the gateway, with one foot imprisoned in La Region Occupée and the other free to wander in La Région Libre, Zimmerman looked up at the sky. And wondered: “Man may employ all his eneregy, time, and spite to divide the land, but he can never dare to split the sky.” In response, the vastness of the blue smiled back at him, calming him down. The lifting of any foot would place him under the surveillance of the ruler of that region. So, he sat down at the gateway and opened his bottle of cheap ale. He couldn’t afford to finish the contents of the bottle at one go. So, he just smelled the ale and closed the lid of the bottle. In the meantime, a parakeet, flaunting its vibrant colours, ensconsed next to him and sniffed the man’s baffled silence. It spread its wings and gazed at the man to narrate the airy tales of the yonder sky.

    Liked by 1 person

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