We’re two weeks into this new Patchwork, and everyone’s projects are starting to take shape. It’s amazing to watch.

Our first prompt was “Intersections” since each of our projects have something to do with community or isolation.

This is my (first draft) response to the prompt:

Grief challenges my skepticism
Soft hope at the edges
Fate and faith and fear
And I think, there must be a loom
There must be a weaver
I must be a thread
There must be a point
A picture
A pattern
A purpose
And you must be a thread
And we must intersect
We must
This cannot be Jackson Pollock
This cannot be random happenstance
My atoms love your atoms
Surely that means something?

But let’s say it doesn’t
There is no cave
No sisters spinning
No loom
No weaver
No pattern
And I am not a thread
And you are not a thread
And my atoms are my atoms
And yours are yours
And there is no we
There is only me
There is only you

Still, I long to intersect

The second part of the day was workshopping a previous poem, and the feedback I got on my poem was so helpful! This will be the first poem in my project, and is intended to set up the false sense of isolation and aloneness that the project hopes to explore. (The first draft of this poem was also written on a day when I was feeling particularly grief-stricken and low, so apologies for the downer but I kind of love it. Goth on the inside forever.)

The Subject is Suffering

The subject is
abandoned at the side of hope
suffering from multiple puncture wounds
and the crude surgical removal
(perhaps without anaesthetic)
of the heart and major organs.

The subject appears to be in distress
and this is distasteful
and the blood is everywhere
and the subject will not stop
with the tears and the talking,
the incessant post-mortem.

So wrap the subject in cellophane.
Shove the guts back in,
looping ropes of viscera and longing
in tangled, tidied knots.
Let the bleeding be internal,
If the subject is to be alone,
then let the subject be alone.

Finally, we each wrote on our own prompts. These prompts included “what is it about isolation that’s so freakin’ terrifying?” (mine), “flu season”, and a reflection on specific relationships.

This new format is very exciting, and productive! The original goal of the Patchwork groups was to provide a structure for sustainable writing practice, and I think we are getting there with this project. Although many of us are exploring difficult and challenging topics in our projects, the safety and support of the group is invaluable. For myself, working through some difficult emotions and struggling to restabilize myself, I am learning again the healing power of writing. It is possible to find truth and hope and self on the page, and this is a lesson that comes again and again. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn again, and to facilitate workshops where other writers can also explore the healing power of writing.


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