Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST November 19th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we listened to the spoken word performance of the poem Forsaken Sea by Sekou Sundiata, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “We do not believe…”

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 November 22nd at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


  
Forsaken Sea by Sekou Sundiata

            Always go in low tide, high tide comes
            Always go in low tide, high tide comes
 
We always go it seems, we always go to the ocean
We always go to the ocean at low tide
 
We could walk, we could walk deep 
We could walk deep into the sea and never be
     in over our heads
 
We do not believe, we do not believe, we do not believe that 
drowning is for us
 
High tide comes out of the water the same way
     for the last billion years.
There is nothing new
We know when to swim, and when to wait
We know when to swim, and when to wait

           The waves come in and go back out
           For the last billion years
          The ocean still emotional, singing in our ears

          Always go in, always go in low tide, high tide comes
         Always go in low tide, high tide comes

High tide comes out of the water the same way for the     
 last billion years. There is nothing new
 We know when to swim and when to wait
 
In the car, in the car the road 
In the car the road murmurs beneath the wheels     
The ocean, so emotional, in our ears

We seek without looking
The smallest token, passes and settles
 into what music is about, music is about
 
You could say
You could say we are dancing
And from this one thing we know 10 things
From this one thing we know 10 things
 
We always go in low tide when high tide comes
We always go to the ocean
We always go to the ocean at low tide

         We see without looking at the music the water makes
         We know when to swim and we know when to wait
         We always go in low tide, high tide comes
         Always go at low tide, high tide comes

We do not believe
We do not believe
We do not believe
That drowning is for us
 
High tide comes out of the water
The same way for the last billion years
 
Yes, you could say, you could say we are dancing
And from this one thing, we know 10 things
 
We always go in low tide
High tide comes

9 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST November 19th 2021

  1. That was a very rich session, thank you for it.
    Here is the piece that the writing prompt allowed me to write.
    Thank you all for your feedback on it and for providing a community for our writing to grow.

    We Do Not Believe

    We do not believe
    in punishing, sacrificing, suffering.
    Not in giving all of yourself,
    but in saving what you hold most dear
    For you,
    Only You.
    We do not believe
    in drowning in misery
    in capitulating sorrow
    in agony.

    Oh yes,
    Agony exists
    Misery is company, and
    Sorrow holds us all dear
    at times.
    But is she really agonizing?
    Or is she Clarifying?
    Is he always miserable?
    Or is he Revealing?
    Honest.
    Straight-forward.
    Even Brutal
    at times.

    And, is Sorrow your deepest foe,
    or fondest friend?
    She loves you too, you know.
    She is your Mother Dearest.
    The teat upon which
    you suck
    nurses you.
    Nurses you into Being.

    Liked by 1 person

    • michele348

      Wonderful response , Katie. I especially like… is “Sorrow your deepest foe or fondest friend?” Sorrow is a stern teacher of sorts, its lessons are difficult for us, and at the same time, so valuable to us as we move on our life journey.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Katie O'Grady

        Thank you Michele. I have never publicly shared my poetry before so it means a lot to have this supportive community and to feel my work so received by you and the others ❤

        And yes, you put it so well when you speak of sorrow – makes me think of Khalil Gibran's masterful piece on joy and sorrow (probably my favourite poem ever):

        Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
        And he answered:
        Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
        And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
        And how else can it be?
        The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
        Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
        And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
        When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
        When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

        Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
        But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
        Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

        Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
        Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
        When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

        From: https://poets.org/poem/joy-and-sorrow

        Like

  2. We do not believe, we do not believe that we are imperfect,
    that we are prone to error, to misconceptions, to pre-judgments.
    We do not believe that the person who stands next to us, who looks different, who sounds different,
    is just like us… having the same desires and hopes for themselves and their loved ones.

    We do not believe that our Mother Earth is crying out to us, to look at our actions and the disruptive path we have been on for so long.
    She tries to tell us that she is old and worn and to use wisely the gifts she has bestowed upon us.

    We do not believe. We do not believe.
    We ignore until there is no time left.
    And the tides go out for the last time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth

    We do not believe in our…
    Inner strength
    Innate power
    Vast capabilities

    Because…
    Life has challenged us
    Life has worn us down
    Life is unpredictable

    We can change this.

    Let’s start believing in our…
    Inner strength
    Innate power
    Vast capabilities

    Because…
    We can.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helen Mia

    Prompt: “We do not believe…”

    We do not believe that the blanket lay on the floor like butterfly wings
    Scrambling to hold on to the next piece of fabric that could keep her warm
    We do not believe in time
    An imperceptible sense of time passed
    What happened to time?
    Time moved so fast like a reckless rollercoaster
    Yet not fast enough as she wishes the clocks would stop
    We do not believe if we did
    Things may have been different…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Katie O'Grady

      Thank you for posting Helen… I had been so moved by your poem that my conscious mind hadn’t been able to keep up with how it pulled my emotions along. My brain had been searching for these lines since yesterday: “Time moved so fast like a reckless rollercoaster/Yet not fast enough as she wishes the clocks would stop”. It was that contradiction that I wanted to spend time with – the notion that the stopping of time would be the fastest possible reality and vice versa. Interestingly enough, this is a very scientifically identifiable contradiction that I am learning about in my physics class – truly at the heart of the classical versus modern physics conundrum. Wonderful work that I will ruminate over for weeks, months, maybe even years to come… Thank you for sharing ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your response Katie, I am so interested to hear this is a scientifically identifiable contradiction regarding time that you are learning about in your physics class, I had never heard of this before….I was also moved by your poem this week, yes what Michelle mentioned “Sorrow can be your deepest foe and fondest friend”.. then your moving Khalil Gibran’s piece..thank you, this is the first time I have responded on this Blog page Katie as still getting used to how to do this technical side of things…thank you for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As I listened to this piece, I was pulled into its rhythms and language, which seemed to contain in coded form secret hopes and secret mystery teachings kept alive and shared by slaves through their music. I heard the piece, but almost as an undertone, or counterpoint rhythm, it seemed that I heard this as well.
    ______________

    We do not believe that the sea has forsaken us,
    She who carried us far; so far, so far
    From rhythms of our natural home.

    No, it was not She who betrayed us
    We were betrayed by those who
    Could no longer hear or heed her rhythms.

    So we sing to her
    We dance for her
    Our drums speak of her in the night

    So that we may never forget
    Either the rhythms of our homeland
    Or of the sea
    Who may one day carry us home again.

    Liked by 2 people

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