“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser
It was a Sunday to celebrate! In my hometown of Montclair, The Write Group, a spirited, welcoming community of writers was marking its 19th year. What began with five people meeting a room has blossomed into more than thirty different events and ongoing programs a month. What a testimony to perseverance and determination – and to the power of words to console, change, and connect.
And celebrate we did! With two gorgeous, scrumptious cakes in the form of open books created by one of our own, a gifted writer with a flair for baking – and with an open mic at our local library. What better way to give voice to all the gifts that words give us than to share them with each other?
As I sat listening to words pour from creative spirits, some young and some well seasoned, but all eager to be heard, I couldn’t help but meditate on the magic of it all: How from the joy and sorrow of living we can weave a mantle of words with the power to touch and uplift each other. To me, everyone in the room was like a different kind of flower, each blossoming in its own time and its own way. Each with a splendid voice.
And how many voices, how many different shades of creativity I witnessed! Poems, flash fiction, short essays, monologues, short essays, memoirs, how-to books, novels!
There were touching poems of the loss of a beloved husband and love poems from a young husband to his lovely young wife. A lyrical evocation of the way three young children called on treasured memories to anchor themselves in a faraway country. A loving, humorous account of a nervous wife-to-be’s dinner with her future in-laws. Flash fiction that spoke of strength and betrayal. A fabulous monologue that created an entire fictional life in a handful of paragraphs. A story of love found on a seaside holiday and the stunning end to a novel that took my breath away.
What a gift words are! And how many creative ways we can use them:
To share past memories, relive them, and give them a shape and meaning.
To create fresh, new-to-the-world characters and stories out of stardust and sweat.
To help soothe our sorrows and pain by giving them a place to live beyond ourselves.
To transmit our own experiences and lessons learned through hard-won wisdom.
Yes, words are a gift and so is the sharing of them. Bravo, Write Group – write on!