Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT July 21st 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem Everything We Left Behind by Manasi Garg, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about shedding the years”

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 Monday July 26th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Everything We Left Behind by Manasi Garg

In my dreams, my grandmother and I are 
bodies of fat and light and we clasp our hands so 
tightly that even God knows to cry. I am in love
with her and her marbled flesh. We walk through her first home.
Cursed city. I watch her shed the years, watch them whisper into the clouds 
like linens drying under the hot sun. Here is her house that burned down. 
Here is the temple next to the fruit orchard. Here is where the 
neighbors threw rocks. She was only 11 when 
the world ended. Pakistan, 1947. She tells me the men would rather
drown their daughters than let them be taken. 
I picture a thousand Ophelias: the white dresses billowing,
the river water scything their breathless skin in rivulets, their heads
bobbing up and down Ravi River like a string of pearls. 
I wonder if they filled their pockets with stones or if they just accepted
the darkness, the finality of it all: if they wanted it, if it felt like a
mother’s womb, if they were aching to return home. 

6 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT July 21st 2021

  1. About shedding the years~~~

    Time passes by.
    The wrinkles move across my face as the experiences of life make their impact upon me.
    But I have my memories of years gone by, the youthful exuberances of childhood,
    when there was no fear, there were no apparent boundaries or norms to uphold.

    I exhale a long breath.
    But memories are just that, recall of times past.
    They are ethereal.
    I need something now to keep the fire within my soul burning.

    And so, I strap on my running shoes and hit the mountain trail I traveled on years ago.
    I didn’t go as gingerly this time around but I felt alive.
    The years melted away and I shed tears of jubilation.
    I briefly had a grasp of times past, but more importantly,
    a brighter view of the future.


    • Elizabeth

      Michele, nostalgia about the past and revisiting our youth does shed some years for us spiritually. It can take away the present heaviness..Glad you got to experience it. Elizabeth

      Liked by 1 person

  2. al3793

    For the past 15 months it seems all I have been doing is shedding the years. We started to downsize a few months before the pandemic imposed itself. We pressed on and the stay-at-home orders offered opportunity to attend to the solitary shedding of the years of accumulation. In fact, one entire week I was confined to the garage, a ground level dungeon packed with artifacts testifying to our lives. Parting with the children’s accomplishments, artwork, academic accomplishments, trophies prompted the memory of many emotional moments to percolate to the surface. Emptying the bookshelves was particularly difficult which included parting with a collection of Shakespeare. Ophelia’s story was there. I loved the drama of the Bard’s work read aloud. Fortunately, the minds of the authors did not drown like so many victims of the pestilence that has prevailed upon the world as families and stories and histories were shredded. As I contemplate retirement so many layers of experiences of life and nuances of profound connection are being shed, moving research for a new chapter about to begin.



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