End of Summer Workshop

It is so interesting to observe the themes that come up during writing workshops – at once unique to each individual, yet universal to us all. Fragility, struggling with identity on the prospect of retirement,  feeling stuck. NOT having/wanting any more; the ‘non-striving’ !

Moments of lyrical expression where participants search to express themselves, so often lost in the conversation – but this memorable one captured from discoveries made, having attended a previous workshop, this being a follow-on day:

“It was like, having lived in a house for years, finding a room you didn’t know was there”.

Many comment on the uncertainty of putting pen to paper, and finding themselves surprised by what then ensues. I liked the analogy of a desire for the day in ‘writing out a map for going forwards’.

Life’s paradoxes always ring loud and clear during these days:

– Feeling stuck by having to let go of more and more in life, but finding that this is enough – that ‘less is more’;

– ‘May we have the courage to trust our unfolding’, in another’s neat observation.

– The ‘pressure-versus-freedom’ of the freewriting exercise where the purpose is to write, without stopping, assessing or judging, for six whole minutes!

The importance of Place, so often woven around home and early life, is never far away. This evocative poem from the day is reproduced with kind permission from Carol.


Gibraltar Point – or Coming Home

The sea stretches to the horizon

Separated from us by creeks and marsh.

Far away shapes; gannets, fulmars, shearwaters

Swiftly moving dots over grey dawn sea.

From the marsh the lonely call of the redshank

Piercing the laughing chatter of jackdaws.

Beautiful place not seen by me for 30 years;

The same yet also unfamiliar.

People I knew there no longer remembered;

The old field station swept away in a high tide.

Yet it is still here, still remembered, like a homecoming

I immerse myself in its dawn to dusk,

Happy among the flocks of waders, the solitary water rail,

Happy among the green-clad birdwatchers sharing their sightings

A camaraderie of expertise and free spirit

Through their shared love of the wild.

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Emily Tomalin

1 year ago


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