Allergies happen, that’s what. Yeah, yeah, I know tulips and daffodils bloom and the sun shines longer, people wear shorts and kids jump in puddles and there’s a general aura of euphoria. But I know you allergy-suffers are out there and that last week around Tuesday you went for a walk and sneezed and your eyes itched and your throat felt like someone had taken a rasp to it. The trees had started releasing their hideous pollen into the air. The invisible pollen clung to every strand of your hair and followed you into the supposed “pollen-free” zone of your house. Dear Pollen-Riddled Person, I know the terror you felt when you realized your gigantic allergy pills were gone and your nasal spray and eye drops were way-expired. You must stock up now. Though you may want to shave your head to rid yourself of the pollen-sponge your hair has become, I recommend a scarf or bandanna or Buff headwear to cover your lovely locks. And change your pillowcase often. You can do it, Allergy-Fatigued Friend. I know. I am with you.
That’s my gift to all of you who are miserable from allergies right now.
If you want a copy of this, I will print it, paste it on a colorful notecard and send it to you. Just email me your address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I could totally do a Writing Together session for people with allergies. We could do a great list poem of all the medicines we take!
Flying by the seat of my pants here. Just writing about gifts and how Writing Together is about gifts. How our words are gifts to ourselves and to each other. And how our written words aren’t just one more thing we need to find a place for in our houses of stuff. And how our time spent together writing and sharing our words could be one of the greatest gifts we can give and receive.
Last week, one of my writing groups wrote together on a prompt I gave and then we shared. Despite being a writing group, quite some time had passed since we wrote together. Our group has been together for almost six years and we all have families. So much happens with this wonderful group of women: births, moving houses, job changes, school, publications, and recently, devastatingly, the death of a child. When we meet, we catch up on our lives, give each other support, plan future retreats, talk chickens and our hopes.
I love all those things, but I was especially thrilled when we got out paper and pen and wrote quietly together. I could sense the energy of these amazing writing women putting down in words what they needed to in that moment. We talked about the experience and some of us shared what we wrote. I felt more deeply connected to this group then I had months.
Such gifts of time and words. I hope we will continue to carve out writing time at our meetings.
In most of my writing with Roxanne, we have used verbal prompts to start. There’s been the occasional crayon color or the focus on the sound of a certain word, but mostly very clear verbal clues on where to start writing, so the other day when a purple origami crane was placed on the plate of cookies as the prompt I waited patiently for what to write on. The woman who had received the crane from her younger brother offered nothing. The crane was the prompt. Oh my. I picked up my pen and wrote: Origami. After a quick pep talk to myself (just go with it, don’t think, write, see where it takes you), this is (an excerpt of) what I wrote:
“Origami. Folded paper. Purple paper. A little crinkled because it’s been carried lovingly here in a bag. Settled among the cookies: Samoas-my fav. Girl Scout Cookies, chocolate chip, vanilla sugar cookie, I think. It’s a still life. Large, round, thick deep blue plate holding cookies and crane, folded carefully. What other colors has he used? Does he have origami paper-does he cut his own? The ceiling lights cast multiple shadows of my had on the page. Still life. Still. I love that word-it’s meditativeness. It looks like how meditation, calmness, becoming still feels. First the “s”, curvy, which way does it want to go? Back and forth, on the move, then the “t”, resolving into straight lines, but at odds. So close. Then the “i”, things are shaping up, calming down, almost connected, but a part hovers above. Finally, the “l”, a one, a unit, a stillness, wholeness. And another “l” to solidify, clarify, reinforce the previous one. Still.”
I never know what will come out. I’m always discovering when I write with Rox.