Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT May 9th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Red Brocade by Naomi Shihab Nye, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about what you might serve a stranger who arrives at the door.

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 Wednesday May 11th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Red Brocade by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.
Let’s go back to that.
Rice? Pine nuts?
Here, take the red brocade pillow.
My child will serve water
to your horse.
No, I was not busy when you came!
I was not preparing to be busy.
That’s the armor everyone put on
to pretend they had a purpose
in the world.
I refuse to be claimed.
Your plate is waiting.
We will snip fresh mint
into your tea.

Copyright © by Naomi Shihab Nye. Used with the permission of the author.

8 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT May 9th 2022

  1. Rita B

    It didn’t take 3 days – a mason came to help, looked tired after a long day’s work and I offered a can of coke and my favorite crumbly digestive biscuits. He loved the biscuits so much that I gave him the pack. Next when he was at our neighbor’s, he knocked to say hello! and then gave me a great price to help us extend our back brickwork

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michele348

    A stranger at the door~~~

    I hear a knock at the door. I peek through the peep-hole, but I don’t see a familiar face.
    Do I ignore the knock and hope this stranger walks away?
    But the face of this person looks tired and in despair and so I take a chance.
    Opening the door, the elderly woman tells me that her car broke down at the end of the street and could she please use my phone to call a garage.
    I invite her into my living room and point her to my phone to make her call.
    After, she tells me that she lives across town with no relatives close by.
    I offer Millie a cup of tea with my fresh-baked brownies, as we sit around my kitchen table waiting for her help to arrive.
    As it turns out, Millie’s daughter graduated from the same college as I had.

    Strangers no longer, we chatted until the mechanic showed up in my driveway. We exchanged phone numbers and vowed to keep in touch.
    Chance encounters may bring unexpected friendships into our lives.
    Let us always be open to this possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scarlet Kinney

    When you appear at my door
    Unexpectedly, in the rain.
    In the dusk,
    Exhausted from your search
    for a welcoming haven,

    I will serve you warmth.
    Dry clothes.
    Soft bedding.
    My grandmother’s shrimp wiggle.

    To warm your body
    As your soul slowly remembers,
    And you move from your past
    Into our present.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Scarlet Kinney

        Very perceptive! Definitely not a chance meeting, and based in part on a dream I once had about a lover who traveled through time and wild storms to find me in this life and time, arriving at my door soaked, freezing, and exhausted. In the dream I did everything for him that I mention in the poem, except make him my grandmother’s shrimp wiggle. Don’t know where that thought came from, but it’s definitely comfort food. Shrimp and peas in a cream sauce served over crackers. No idea why she called it “wiggle,” either.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Narrative Medicine 05.09.2022
    Write about what you might serve to a stranger who arrives at your door

    melissa adylia calasanz

    all I had

    a couple of folding chairs and a table
    wrestled from my garage in the dim light
    made even darker from the tears


    i am sorry i do not have any cheese

    what do you need
    how can I be of service

    you wanted the bench
    but it was dangerous

    come with me

    towards my door

    I’ve heard your voices
    yet we were strangers
    until now

    as I cradle you to the ground
    wrapping my arms around you as you cried
    as I had cried just hours before

    now we share these words

    we share
    we serve
    we comfort
    each other
    as family
    bound by the love of your brother

    Melissa Adylia Calasanz

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Elizabeth

    A stranger can be made to feel at home
    Just by being served a sincere warm welcome.
    It doesn’t matter what food is offered
    As long as it’s served with an open heart.
    He/she should be offered respect
    And listened to
    Really listened to,
    A deep and focused listening
    Of body, mind and soul.
    After all, each of us wants to be heard,
    In totality,
    Especially the stranger.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. al3793

    Write about what you might serve a stranger who arrives at the door.

    Please do come in and rest.
    Tell me what has happened.
    You look so weary.
    Let me fix you some coffee or tea.
    Coffee it will be.
    Black, cream or sugar?
    Ok, black.
    You say you need work.
    We can talk about what you can do around here
    while we have lunch.
    I just warmed this posole verde.
    Try that while my wife fixes some sandwiches.
    You say it has been twenty years
    since you sat in someone’s kitchen for lunch.
    That old red chair over this is the most comfortable in our house.
    You can sit there after lunch while we talk.


    Liked by 2 people

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