Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT June 30th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session our text was the short story Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write a set of directions.”

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 July 7th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don’t walk bare-head in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn’t have gum in it, because that way it won’t hold up well after a wash; soak salt fish overnight before you cook it; is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?; always eat your food in such a way that it won’t turn someone else’s stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don’t sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn’t speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions; don’t eat fruits on the street—flies will follow you; but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming; this is how you iron your father’s khaki shirt so that it doesn’t have a crease; this is how you iron your father’s khaki pants so that they don’t have a crease; this is how you grow okra—far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants; when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it; this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely; this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit; don’t squat down to play marbles—you are not a boy, you know; don’t pick people’s flowers—you might catch something; don’t throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all; this is how to make a bread pudding; this is how to make doukona; this is how to make pepper pot; this is how to make a good medicine for a cold; this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child; this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don’t like, and that way something bad won’t fall on you; this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man, and if this doesn’t work there are other ways, and if they don’t work don’t feel too bad about giving up; this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn’t fall on you; this is how to make ends meet; always squeeze bread to make sure it’s fresh; but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?

4 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT June 30th 2021

  1. 6/30/21 Prompt: Write a set of directions.

    Here’s how to survive in the world of work:
    Make sure you care – but not too much.
    Don’t look for accolades – They are likely to go to others, and may or may not be deserved.
    Whatever you do, turn your gaze and look to the “head of the table”. If the organization’s leadership is diseased in some way, this experience surely will bear diseased fruit (no matter what efforts you give).
    Work hard, but not so hard that you turn into a pile of ashes.
    Reserve a part of yourself that is and always will be separate from your work.
    Caring too much can kill you just as surely as not caring enough…
    So find ways to catch your breath and keep your balance.
    This is important, and may save your life!

    – Pam

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Write a set of directions~~~

    Who am I to write a set of directions?
    I’m no expert; I’ve made my share of mistakes during my lifetime.
    But this I know, I will always be here to guide you, to help you bypass some of the mistakes I’ve made.
    Life is to be lived to its fullness,
    to bring beauty into your existence.

    Two rules of living your life if I have to give you something:
    1. don’t hurt yourself by your actions or lack thereof
    2. and don’t purposely hurt others by your actions or lack thereof

    I wish you well on your journey,
    be happy and be fulfilled.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t find my way home.
    I can’t find my car.
    I can’t find my Iphone so I can’t Google.
    I don’t have a map because I rely on Google Maps.

    The sun is directly overhead. I have no idea where I am.

    “Sir, where am I?”
    “You’re on Earth.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elizabeth

    Dear Son,

    Here are some tips how to stay safe in the heat this summer:

    1. Hydrate
    2. Put on sunblock
    3. Rest
    4. Hydrate
    5. Stay in air-conditioning
    6. Don’t move around a lot
    7. Eat light
    8. Hydrate
    9. Dress in light colors and In loose fitting clothes
    10. Do not go out in the heat of the day

    With love and life experience,
    Mom

    PS-By the way, did you drink anything yet? If you didn’t, go get yourself something to drink. If you did, go get yourself some more.

    Liked by 2 people

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