Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT June 27th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Twenty-eight participants gathered to read and discuss Ada Limón’s “I Have Wanted Clarity in Light of my Lack of Light” from her 2022 collection The Hurting Kind.

After reading the poem I Have Wanted Clarity In Light Of My Lack Of Light from The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón (poem posted below), we commented on “the attack of the poem” with its barrage of sounds and images that echoed our experiences of the world’s “too much-ness.” The narrator’s references to “knocking in the blood”, “a sound that undoes me” and becoming “More sense, shake, and nerve” (i.e. more like a dog than a human) suggested an experience of post-traumatic stress disorder, perhaps that of a veteran. We questioned what it means to be brave in the face of the many current challenges that worry and wear us down.

Before we were prompted, “Write about a time you were brave” one among us offered a glimpse of light to the group with the words, “Look up” as a strategy that is both a physical act and a metaphor that can change our perspective. Several people read aloud accounts of bravery in the face of grave illness, grief, and a kidnapping. One participant shared a drawing of flowers and a gun’s trigger and double barrels, which reminded people of anti-war protest emblems in the 1960s.

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

I Have Wanted Clarity In Light Of My Lack Of Light by Ada Limón

Fireworks in the background like an incongruous soundtrack,
	either celebratory or ominous, a veil of smoke behind

a neighbor’s house, the air askew with booms.

The silver suitcase is dragged down the stairs, a clunk, another clunk,
	awkward wheels where wheels aren’t any use. Uselessness of invention.

There is a knocking in the blood that is used to absences but hates this part
	the most. The sudden buried hope of illusion.

Lose my number, sadness. Lose my address, my storm door, my skull.

Am I stronger or weaker than when the year began, a lie
	that joins two selves like a hinge. Sawdust in the neighbor’s garage

that smells of the men who raised me. What is the other world
	that others live in? Unknown to me. The ease of grin and good times. 

Once I loved fireworks so much that they made me weep without warning.
	I smoked too much pot one young summer and almost missed them

	until I simply remembered to look up. Gold valley crackling in chaos. 

Now, it is a sound that undoes me, too much violence in the sky.
	In this way, I have become more dog. More sense, shake, and nerve.

Better now when the etches in the night’s edges are just bats,
	Erratic and avoiding the fireflies. How much more drama

can one body take? I wake up in the morning and relinquish my dreams.
	I go to bed with my beloved. I am delirious with my tenderness.

Once I was brave, but I have grown so weary of danger.
	I am soundlessness amid the constant sounds of war.

Pp.48-49. The Hurting Kind. (2022) Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions. 

5 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT June 27th 2022

  1. Elizabeth

    I think it’s brave
    Just to live in the world today.
    With each passing news story
    We become braver
    Despite our frustration,
    Our exhaustion,
    Our fear.
    We are all heroes,
    With the psychological battle scars to prove it,
    We have made it through another day.
    I give us all a salute!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. About a time I was brave~~~

    I lay on a bed of stiff white sheets, the smell of alcohol hanging in the air
    Flashing lights, beeping sounds flooding the silence of the space
    Shadows of people moving in and out, posing vague questions in my dreamworld
    Existence hanging in the air like wet towels on a clothesline

    Would I wake to the sunrise to fight or
    would I slink off into the shadows?

    I chose to face the enemy straight on
    And so I did


  3. Patricia D.

    I was brave when kidnapped, along with my boyfriend, while we were seeking shelter in Bombay.
    An unscrupulous man led us to a so-called hotel owned by his friend.
    He promptly locked us in a room, stole our passports and meager cash… desiring to bend us to his will.
    We evoked the spirit of Aurobindo, a famous mystic, who somehow intervened.
    The man was astonished and promptly allowed us to leave freely even though he kept our possessions.


  4. ebethnm

    Write about a time you were brave:

    Slowly, baby steps at first. Finally some adult steps. I never knew that courage was so required to step out of the world of straightness defined by its bars of conformity. Until a woman slipped sideways into my world, turned it, rounded its edges, peeled off the boundary, the safe shell of straightness and into a land where bravery is required.


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