When I write with others affected by cancer or loss in my Spirit of the Written Word writing workshops, I feel like I am entering a sacred space. We create this special space together, sitting around the table, notebooks open, pens at the ready. We light a candle and breathe, centering, bringing our whole selves into the space. Then we pick up the pens, and it all unfolds.
The physical space is secondary to this process. Yes, it is good to have comfortable chairs to sit in and a big table to put these chairs around. Privacy, good lighting, access to munchies, water and a bathroom are pluses.
What is primary is the trust and respect that the writers offer each other. It is the bond that is formed by opening our hearts and listening as others open theirs. It is the safety we provide each other by keeping everything confidential and voluntary.
In this sacred writing space much can happen. We go to many places without leaving our chairs. We travel back in time to our childhoods or to that awful moment when we heard the words, â€œyou have cancer.â€
We plumb our hearts, expressing on the lined pages or on the occasional laptop screen our fears about treatment or recurrence; we write about our courage as we travel our healing paths, our joy at being alive, the feeling of garden dirt in our hands or watching a hawk circle in the autumn sky.
The creative energy in the room is palpable. It bears the soft sounds of hands moving across pages, of muted tip-tapping on keyboards, of pages being turned. There comes a sigh, a sip, and a simple slide into surrender to our writing as it leads us to our innermost true and sacred selves.
Week after week we gather, trusting our pens will take us where we need to go and that our fellow writers will accompany us there.
copyright Pam Roberts