Today is election day, and I am oscillating between feelings of absolute dread and the other of hope. That this threat that is looming is so great that the people of this country will respond in unprecedented numbers.
But really, what I signed on for, what I break my silence for is something entirely different. I had simply one of the most soul searching, inspiriting, challenging, healing three days I’ve ever had.
It all started with the Grief Rites LitCrawl reading I had the pleasure of reading at. Along with Daniel Elder, Deangelo Gillespie, Kate Carroll De Gutes, Pauls Toutounghi, and Amber Keyser. I read a piece about the dissolution of my writing group of ten years, and the growth I experienced as a result. It was hard. I was up there, with a little shake in my hands but I read the whole thing. I stood up and did it. And afterwards people I had never met before were telling me how much it meant to them.
They asked me about the line, “I became a writer first and a person second.” Which reflected much of the learning I’d gained from the experience. After that I ran out to my car and hot footed it over to Kennedy School for the meet and greet portion of Lidia Yuknavitch & Domi Shoemaker’s Corporeal Writing Workshop.
I was an hour late and was knee deep already into people talking about where they were in their writing. When it came to me I said. “I feel like I’m recovering from an accident, with the break up of my writing group.” I spoke about the very thing I had just read about.
During the workshop, we found out that City of Weird, the Forest Avenue Press collection I have a story in was currently a Number One Bestseller at Powells.com. Lidia handed out copies of City of Weird at the workshop.
Two days later I am sitting in the Kennedy School, bearing witness to all the breakthroughs people experienced at the end of the workshop. Me, I learned a lot about me and my writing and how I need to walk the difficult path, on my own, to know that I can do this, I can make something new and something beautiful. I learned knew ways of getting to story and I learned that I can do this. That’s what Lidia taught me, she showed me how to take those first few steps.
Then last night at Melissa Dodson’s Grief Rites November reading at the post.I ran into a fellow Dangerous Writer Shannon Brazil, we talked at length about the challenge of each of us carrying on. To honor the work we did there. How we are all walking around checking in with each other, to make sure we are ok.
And now today, this election. This month has more in store for me, more writings, more readings, and for the first time in my writing life. I see the future as bright as the morning sun that hit me when I pulled into the High School where I teach.