Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 25th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem The Silence of Plants by Wislawa Szymborska, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about a question that has never been asked or answered.

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 Friday April 29th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

The Silence of Plants by Wislawa Szymborska

The Silence of Plants

A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are,
and I know what happens to you in April and December.

Though my curiosity is unrequited,
I gladly stoop for some of you, 
and for others I crane my neck.

I have names for you:
maple, burdock, liverwort,
eather, juniper, mistletoe, and forget-me-not;
but you have none for me.

After all, we share a common journey.
When traveling together, it’s normal to talk,
exchanging remarks, say, about the weather,
or about the stations flashing past.

We wouldn’t run out of topics 
for so much connects us.
The same star keeps us in reach.
We cast shadows according to the same laws.
Both of us at least try to know something, 
each in our own way,
and even in what we don’t know 
there lies a resemblance.

Just ask and I will explain as best I can:
what it is to see through my eyes,
why my heart beats,
and how come my body is unrooted.

But how does someone answer questions 
which have never been posed,
and when, on top of that
the one who would answer 
is such an utter nobody to you?

Undergrowth, shrubbery, 
meadows, and rushes…
everything I say to you is a monologue,
and it is not you who’s listening.

A conversation with you is necessary 
and impossible,
urgent in a hurried life
and postponed for never.

6 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 25th 2022

  1. Neha Dantuluri

    The Secret

    Did you know
    I have a secret?
    I hide it as best as I can.

    I hold it close within me
    And refuse to let it spin

    I tell myself im better off alone
    Squeeze the palm of my hand
    And I will immediately
    Let go…

    Can you see the gash?
    I am always bleeding
    leaving behind an
    Incomprehensible puddle of blood
    I would never let you know
    What I know.

    You know I live by myself
    But you don’t know what pills
    I should be on
    I may be slowly dying
    And the the time is melting
    I will never let you know why.

    Me and you,
    This secret will stay between us
    And I will stay with you
    Like the others
    You will leave too.


  2. Pamela Zubow Poe

    The first question that comes to me is simply: “Why?” So often, when hearing about unexpected or difficult news items- the current war, the lack of cohesiveness on public health actions or restrictions, that terrible news item that seems to so often begin with a random shooting event–
    The question “Why?” seldom is asked or answered, as it reverberates down the wind tunnel of response time between news and its inevitable landing, somewhere between necessary and impossible.
    In the same way, I think a difficult diagnosis also lands in this way: with an answer for “Why” that can be postponed for never, by those who can’t begin to guess the answer, but are living it in real time.


  3. About a question that has never been asked or answered~~~

    How is it that you can endure all we humans have put you through, Mother Earth?
    We clear cut your forests in the name of progress and to line the pockets of corporate leaders.
    We turn under your life-sustaining soil and replace it with towering buildings made of brick and concrete,
    vast parking lots paved with asphalt that choke and suffocate you.
    Your children, the plants, animals, and fishes of the seas are left homeless and confused,
    discarded by those who should know better.
    Your air is polluted with the fumes of big business, churning its monstrous gears.
    This putrid air hangs over all of us, burning our eyes and clouding our thinking.

    If I listen carefully, I hear you moaning and crying as the raindrops of your sorrow fall from the heavens.
    I see you shake your head in disbelief at humankind.
    Please forgive us as we try to do better.

    I lay on your verdant grass and look up into the nighttime sky.
    I feel your heart beating within mine.
    We are one.
    I offer you my gratitude and reverence for the gifts you have bestowed upon us.
    May we prove worthy of your generosity.


  4. Narrative Medicine
    “write about a question that has never been asked or answered”

    Melissa Adylia Calasanz

    many questions
    one holds court

    how should i care for your trees

    now that you are gone
    the seasons are not the same

    the silence from your garden
    breaks my heart

    a new cat arrived on the roof the other day
    chilled me
    reminding me of that late afternoon

    Elizabeth’s eyes on me

    she is safe
    she is warm
    she is loved
    she is fed

    that day is coming closer
    will i be able to tend to the garden
    should i even be there on that day

    there is no answer

    i swept as best i could today
    avoiding that space

    i want to tend to your trees
    as you tending to me

    need a hand
    want to borrow anything

    hi neighbor
    i am doing my best to tend to the weeds

    what i would do to hear an answer from you
    i hear your voice daily
    ill do what i can to care for the trees

    with love from this mourning’s garden,
    melissa adylia calasanz


  5. Patricia D.

    Unanswered questions

    What happens when we die?
    Religions declare they have the answer, but do they really?
    What if nothings happens?
    Is that an answer?
    Do I want to know?
    Is the mystery worth the wait?


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