Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT May 16th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Heavy from the poetry collection Thirst by Mary Oliver, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Begin your writing with ‘That time I thought…’ or Write about taking the time to linger.”

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 May 20th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Heavy from the poetry collection Thirst by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT May 11th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at a dance video The Choreography of Care concept by Christy Stoeten & Sarah Kim, MD, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about how you move through your day.

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 May 16th at 6pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


The Choreography of Care concept by Christy Stoeten & Sarah Kim, MD

Core Team:
Concept by... Christy Stoeten  |  Sarah Kim, MD
Director/Editor… Sonia Gemmiti
Producer…  Sarah Kim, MD  |  Christy Stoeten
Director of Photography…  Katie Cooper
Composer…  Danielle Goudge, RN
Choreography…  Christy Stoeten  |  Sarah Kim, MD
1st Assistant Camera…  Yuri Markarov
Colourist...  Matthew Barnett
Sound Engineer...  Mark Rozeluk

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.


Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 7 de Mayo, 13:00 EDT

El texto que escogimos para hoy fue Esto Es Solo Para Decir, Por William Carlos Williams.

La propuesta de escritura fue Escribe sobre una disculpa.

Aquí, ahora alentamos a los participantes que si así lo desean, compartan lo que escribieron a continuación. Deja tu respuesta aquí, si deseas continuar la conversación. Pero antes, les recomendamos tener en cuenta que el blog es un espacio público donde, por supuesto, no se garantiza la confidencialidad.


Esto Es Solo Para Decir, Por William Carlos Williams

Yo comí
las ciruelas
que estaban
en la nevera
 
y las que
tú probablemente
estabas guardando
para el desayuno
 
Perdóname
estaban deliciosas
tan dulces
y tan frías

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT May 6th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at a performance titled She – Spoken Word by Deborah Emmanuela, a poet and artist from Singapore, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “She…

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 May 9th at 6pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page


She – Spoken Word by Deborah Emmanuela


Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT May 2nd 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at a scene from the HBO film production of Angels in America directed by Mike Nichols and written by Tony Kushner, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Describe your own heaven.

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 May 6th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.



Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT April 29th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Some Feel Rain by Joanna Klink, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about a time of wonder.

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 May 2nd at 6pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Some Feel Rain by Joanna Klink

Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.
When it falls apart, some feel the moondark air
drop its motes to the patch-thick slopes of
snow. Tiny blinkings of ice from the oak,
a boot-beat that comes and goes, the line of prayer
you can follow from the dusking wind to the snowy owl
it carries. Some feel sunlight
well up in blood-vessels below the skin
and wish there had been less to lose.
Knowing how it could have been, pale maples
drowsing like a second sleep above our temperaments.
Do I imagine there is any place so safe it can’t be
snapped? Some feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil, as if the smokestacks were a long
dream of exhalation. The lynx lets its paws
skim the ground in snow and showers.
The wildflowers scatter in warm tints until
the second they are plucked. You can wait
to scrape the ankle-burrs, you can wait until Mercury
the early star underdraws the night and its blackest
districts. And wonder. Why others feel
through coal-thick night that deeply colored garnet
star. Why sparring and pins are all you have.
Why the earth cannot make its way towards you.

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.


Encuentros virtuales en vivo: Sábado 23 de Abril, 13:00 EDT

El pintura que escogimos para hoy fue La Persistencia de la Memoria, Por Salvador Dali, 1931.

La propuesta de escritura fue Escribe sobre el tiempo.

Aquí, ahora alentamos a los participantes que si así lo desean, compartan lo que escribieron a continuación. Deja tu respuesta aquí, si deseas continuar la conversación. Pero antes, les recomendamos tener en cuenta que el blog es un espacio público donde, por supuesto, no se garantiza la confidencialidad.

Por favor, únase a nosotros en nuestra próxima sesión en español: El sábado 7 de mayo a las 13 hrs. o a la 1 pm EDT. También, ofrecemos sesiones en inglés. Ve a nuestra página de sesiones grupales virtuales en vivo.


La Persistencia de la Memoria, Por Salvador Dali, 1931


Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT April 22nd 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a novel excerpt from  The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about the rhythm of home.”

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 April 25th at 6pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

Home was a cot in one of their bunkhouses at the Fair Ranch in Yolo. Home was a long tent beneath a leafy plum tree at Kettleman’s. Home was a wooden shanty in Camp No. 7 on the Barnhart Tract out in Lodi. Nothing but onions as far as the eye can see. Home was a bed of straw in John Lyman’s barn alongside his prize horses and cows. Home was a corner of the washhouse at Stockton’s Cannery Ranch. Home was a bunk in a rusty boxcar in Lompoc. Home was an old chicken coop in Willows that the Chinese had lived in before us. Home was a flea-ridden mattress in a corner of a packing shed in Dixon. Home was a bed of hay atop three apple crates beneath an apple tree in Fred Stadelman’s apple orchard. Home was a spot on a floor of an abandoned schoolhouse in Marysville. Home was a patch of earth in a pear orchard in Auburn not far from the banks of the American River, where we lay awake every evening staring up at the American stars, which looked no different from ours: there, up above us, was the Cowherd Start, the Water Star. “Same latitude,” our husbands explained. Home was wherever the crops were ripe and ready for picking. Home was wherever our husbands were. Home was by the side of a man who had been shoveling up weeds for the boss for years.