Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT March 29th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text for this session was an excerpt from Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore, posted below.

For prompts, we had a choice between: “Write about being strung along the same wire of a song.” or “Write about being stuck deep in the brain and low in the spine.”

More details on this session will be posted, 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 Wednesday March 31st at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

From Lorrie Moore’s (1994) Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?

There was an April afternoon, when I was in the tenth grade when the Girls’ choir had to meet for its final rehearsal before the spring concert. The sun was pouring in through the gym windows, and when we took our places on the bleachers we were standing in it, like something celestial lowered in. Our director, Miss Field, began to wave her arms at us, and a strange spell came over our throats. Our nerves tightened and all the bones of our ears fell in line. It was Miss Field’s own arrangement of a Schubert rhapsody, and the notes, for once, took flight.  I didn’t, couldn’t, catch Sils’s eye—she was standing over with the sopranos—but it didn’t matter, I didn’t have to, because this wasn’t personal, this singing, this light, this was girls, after weeks of rehearsal celebrating the ethereal work of their voices, the bell–like, birdlike, child–sound they could still make so strongly in unison. Strung along the same wire of song, we lost ourselves; out of separate rose and lavender mouths we formed a single living thing, like a hyacinth. It seemed even then a valedictory chorus to our childhood and struck us deep in the brain and low in the spine, like a call, and in its wave and swell lifted us, I swear, to the ceiling in astonishment and bliss, we sounded that beautiful. All of us could hear it, aloft in the bliss of it, no boys, no parents in the room, no one else to tell us, though we never managed to sound that beautiful again. In all my life as a woman—which began soon after, and not unrichly, I have never known such a moment. Though sometimes in my brain I go back to that afternoon, to relive it, sail up there again toward the acoustic panels, the basketball hoops, and the old oak clock, the careful harmonies set loose from our voices so pure and exact and light we wondered later, packing to leave, how high and fast and far they had gone.

4 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT March 29th 2021

  1. About being stuck deep in the brain and low in the spine…

    I was a victim or so the label was put upon me.
    But I had other thoughts.
    I was not content to linger in self-pity.
    I was to move forward and conquer obstacles,
    conquer my fears.

    I formulated a plan and stuck to it month after month,
    running mile after mile until my breathing eased
    and my steps quickened.

    To push myself to my limits,
    to cross over that finish line,
    no matter what place I stood.

    I succeeded and I have the battle scars to prove it,
    sore knees and sore hips.
    But with the pain,
    there is a broad smile across my face.


  2. al3793

    Stuck Deep in the Brain and Low in the Spine

    Some see the slowing down of getting older as a decline, your brain won’t let you go back to times before, or even a few minutes ago. But an advantage that comes with this slowing down is not feeling compelled to arrive at a particular destination because we can’t guarantee that we can make it there. Sometimes beautiful things accompany that. Things that give you chills right down your spine.

    We made our way up Lost Lake Trail one day, a spot opposite Red and White Mountain with no intention to arrive at either. We hiked that day until it seemed like time to turn around. Along the way we would stop and look at things that in our faster years we would have walked right past. We looked more closely and could see better, no matter that our eyes were slowing down too.

    And so, we stopped to look at a sapling lodgepole pine sprouting from what nature left as a window box. A dead stump lay across the base of the giant that fathered the sapling, filled with rich humus left there by season upon season of rotted leaves and pine needles basted in rain and snow and more rain and baked by the sun. The sprout reached it’s short arms upward toward the shaded sunlight, trying to make its way up to the lime, and green and yellow of the mountain’s canopy.


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