Last week I wrote about the importance of having diversity in your writing group. I wanted to explore some of the members from my past and show how diverse they were. As I was exploring that idea in my mind I came upon one of my mother’s journals.
My mother loved to read and did some writing. She found little time to put pen to paper while raising eight children. However, once we were all grown, married and were dispersed around the country she began to keep a journal. Before she died she gave them to me.
I happened to open one of them on January 15th and there on the page was the date she was writing in January 15, 1993. Do you believe in synchronicity? I do. Or do you think our loved ones are out there watching over us? Could it be she was sending me a message? I had been contemplating writing a blog for the past two months and when I paged through here journal here were her thoughts on the writing group I had and descriptions of the people in it.
It was a diverse group and I can’t describe it better than she did:
On a Wednesday evening we went to a poetry group. They were an interesting bunch. An Indian (Native American) man led the group. Another Indian man had poetry also; he was an auto mechanic. A poor young woman who’s brother had been murdered and had lost a child to cystic fibrosis. She had straggly hair and one tooth missing but wrote some beautiful poetry. Especially one about masks. There was also a man who was more dressy perhaps a teacher or business man.
Later on they had an open mike and anyone could participate. A young girl read a fairy tale she had written, some read poetry. The Indian man told an old Indian Legend. I am looking forward to going again.
After each on read their poetry they all critiqued it and some really tore it apart. Chris is taking some of her poetry tonite. I am wondering what they will do to it.
I do remember this group and they certainly were diverse and wrote wonderful strong poetry. What did they do to my poetry as I recall they were kind which one should always be when they critique but also be helpful with good suggestions and the knowledge that the author should always honor their voice.
My only regret is that I moved away from this city before I could have one of my poems included in the book they published.