Write-ins are a new experience for me, but I’ve been to two in the last couple of months and they’re lessons in letting go to create without overthinking (or judging). Our write-in leader gave us prompts, a certain amount of time to write, then time to share what we’d written and give feedback.
I was scared to participate, but the group of writers and makers that joined in all created a safe place where I felt comfortable enough to share. Listening to hearts who are such gifted story-tellers and weavers of words was inspiring rather than intimidating.
So, here’s what I wrote at this month’s write-in. They are both very lightly edited.
Not all who wander are lost,
or so the poem goes.
This is the anthem of hearts who need to explore
But give me a man who knows how to keep
his feet steady on the floor.
Who in his wanderings has come to know
the beckoning beauty of home
and the magic of mundane days
A soul who abides hand-in-hand with the crazy adventure of me
I’m not one of the wonders of the world, breathtakingly majestic
but he tells me I’m the wonder in his world
and that’s all I need
Now, I’ve got a man who knows how to keep
his feet steady on the floor.
“Listening is a gift, baby,” my momma told me once.
I can still smell the Youth Dew Estee Lauder perfume she wore and see the light twinkling off of her glass beaded necklace.
She had a habit of giving kernels of wisdom to my brother and I in the middle of random conversations. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood the gold she offered us amongst the dross of everyday life.
She told me that listening was a gift we possess and give away at the same time. We learn when we listen. Our worlds expand and our capacity to understand more about the souls around us increases exponentially.
She said being quiet while someone else was sharing was only a part of the gift, that I’ve got to pay attention, too. Then, if I really wanted to put a bow on it, I needed to keep my judgements to myself.
Listening was about love and she gently reminded me of how precious little there was in the world for some people.
My momma showed me that ears aren’t the only part of ourselves we listen with. So she taught me about body language and eye contact.
She would say that sometimes listening looks a lot like waiting for another soul to be ready to share. All we can do is offer an invitation with open hands and a ready ear.
And as much as she taught me about the great gift of listening, she never failed to remind me of my boundaries when the words were unkind and left welts.
She’d say, “Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat. It’s okay to stand up for yourself.”
She was the daughter of a bully and a mama too wrapped in her own struggles to be a buffer, so she understood what it was for a girl to be her best and only defense. As a mom she didn’t bow to social and church expectations that pushed her to teach me to be soft and accepting…to be that doormat she was determined to teach me not to be.
– Anna K.
About Anna K.
I believe art is a verb and creativity is a love language. I'm a recovering perfectionist still learning to see grace in the messy in-between places of becoming. I cultivate creativity through Made Tribe Sparks - creative prompts for those who want to explore their faith through art - and through introducing local youth to Art Journaling. This website is where I share my art-full journey.
I also have a fondness for words like shenanigans and hoopla.
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