Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST February 18th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read the poem “Spring and Fall” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about something you would say to your younger self.”

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

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 February 21st at 6pm EST,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


“Spring and Fall” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

                     to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.


Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985)

12 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST February 18th 2022

  1. About something I would say to my younger self~~~

    Well, it’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to talk.
    A lot of water has passed under the bridge.
    You started out naive to the ways of the world… the knowledge that there is both good and bad in this world.
    But you held your own, making wise decisions for the most part.
    You used your mind and heart in your encounters with your fellow man.
    And for that, I am thankful.

    You did not become discouraged when life dealt you unfair blows… you realized that’s part of growing and expanding your spirit of life.
    I thank you for your love of life and nature and the kindness offered to those around you.
    I’ve enjoyed watching you grow into who you have become.
    You were there to make me into who I am.
    You stand always beside me as I take my steps forward in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • al3793

      Michele,
      Your speaker’s dialogue with the younger person is rich with acceptance of the other, encouragement, gratitude and kindness.
      I loved your speaker’s words, “I’ve enjoyed watching you grow into who you have become. You were there to make me into who I am.” I also liked “the potential to expand the spirit of life by engaging with it.” There’s a potential for nurture in all of it although it might see counter-intuitive at times. Andre

      Liked by 1 person

  2. al3793

    Write about something you would say to your younger self…

    You kept wondering when you would be like those who were moved so deeply by life’s happenings. You wondered why your life seemed simple, joy filled, unshaken while lives of others around you seemed so complex, challenged and unleaved. You kept waiting and now three score cycles of seasons have given you time to take the chances, to be your human self, helping others, in their humanity, sift through the leafmeal, detritus of life to find their way to shelter. You help them to be brave, to embrace their sorrow and knead it as it changes them.
    Andre

    Liked by 2 people

    • michele348

      To heal the body of its physical ills requires knowledge and experience. To heal and nurture the spirit requires something more profound in nature… patience and skill in listening, allowing those, injured in spirit, to find the path to the strength that lies within them.

      Like

  3. Beverly Schueneman

    I wrote to my younger self: Aunt you are in heaven. I remember you. It is fall and you are gone. I’m swinging up and down.Yet as I age I feel the seasons . I swing thru them. Grief and love.

    Liked by 2 people

    • al3793

      Beverly,
      Your narrative begins in a stationary moment – “…It is fall and you are gone.” But then we start to move, “swinging up and down,” “as I age I feel the seasons,” I swing thru them.” Then I find myself back in Hopkin’s poem, “Grief and love.” Nice. Andre

      Like

  4. Scarlet Kinney

    Something I Would Say to My Younger Self

    Stand tall, small fists clenched.
    Say no! Say it loudly, and not in polite girlish tones,
    Otherwise, the world will crush you
    With harsh words spoken
    Promises broken
    Loss upon loss.
    “Oh,” you say? “But I did! But I did!”
    “We still stand tall, solid as a tree,
    Our fists still clenched.
    Would would now try it on with us?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • al3793

      Scarlet,
      Your narrative is so vividly visual and auditory. I can see this younger self and hear the voice and feel the anger and disappointment. I am impressed by the speaker’s resolve and courage.

      I am reminded of a passage from Etty Hillesum’s book, The Interrupted Life where she writes, “And you must be able to bear your sorrow; even if it seems to crush you, you will be able to stand up again, for human beings are so strong, and your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself; you mustn’t run away from it.”

      Thank you for the courage to share this.
      Andre

      Like

  5. Something you would say to your younger self….

    Being in Time
    If only I could turn back time and do it all over again
    This time being in time or maybe that was meant to be
    Present and enough time to spend in how it really was
    An assumptive familiar world caressed time and memory
    as if it would stay the same forever

    Time fell through your left-hand fingers like silvery mercury
    shedding the past like lifeless skin
    And now it’s too late as time has gone
    as if the past never was
    an imperceptible veil between the past and the present
    If only time could be reversed
    like looking through prisms of coloured glass from every angle
    Time takes its own decision to move
    Keep your eyes and heart wide open at every juncture
    especially when love is so close to your fingers tips…..

    Like

    • al3793

      Helen,
      Your speaker is so pensive and engages the reader to likewise be very pensive. I hear quite a bit of struggle with time, but also an acceptance of its nature and a resolve to keep the eyes and heart wide open. I appreciate the the caution when love is close and the link to quicksilver – each having the capacity to slip through ones fingers and disappear into the past. Thank you for sharing this.
      Andre

      Like

  6. Elizabeth

    So you want the privileges of being an adult:
    No bedtime;
    Eating what you want;
    Wearing pajamas all day;
    No more homework.

    Let me tell you that when you get older,
    You will find this thing that comes with adulthood;
    It will always be with you;
    It will come in many different forms;
    It will be yours to bear…

    RESPONSIBILITY

    You may not have wanted it;
    You may not have chosen it;
    But please know-
    You will be strong enough to rise
    And greet it,
    And meet its challenge,
    And you will grow from it.

    :

    Like

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