A few weeks ago, a day in Salem at the Oregon State Capitol reminded me that my writing is not just a middle-aged woman’s means of personal self-care and catharsis, but is actually an important tool for my public Nurse Advocacy work. But that type of writing, the type that’s done for lobbying and providing citizen testimony for state legislators, requires a great deal of restraint, professionalism, organized thought. I’m not quite there yet.
Today, I attended a workshop ~ The Labyrinth Path: Writing and Walking With Grief & Loss, presented by Anne Richardson, M.A., a Portland based chaplain, certified spiritual director, labyrinth facilitator, and poet. This half-day workshop did something for me that hours of therapy, meditation, and other attempts at Grief Work have not been able to do for me over the 9 months since my father died. Via a small, intimate, group setting with poetry and writing prompts, the ink in my stagnant, sad little pen started flowing again today. Solidly, in a way that felt well-paced, and comfortable, and exciting.
(To learn more about Anne, her workshops, retreats, and spiritual direction offerings, visit her website: Nurture Your Journey)
I will be sharing a bit of my writing from today’s workshop here in Nurse Apple’s Adventures in coming days. Pretty raw, and mostly unedited. Like my life, and much of my End Of Life work, that’s the reality.
It comes in quick, unexpected, waves; I approach it with real reactions. I encourage and try to allow others the space to do the same. The older I get, the more I work with death & dying, the coarser the mesh on my filters get. More stuff gets through. I think in the long run, it’s the healthier way.
The last piece I wrote this afternoon ended up being a poem. Of sorts.
A gentle melting of the inflexible,
a slow turning towards a warmer season
that was promised to come.
My Grief has been like a winter,
in many ways.
The short days: just when I turn to see the morning light,
that if I manage
to rouse myself:
I can participate.
I can move a bit forward, feel myself start to
warm & thaw with those movements.
But then too soon ~ the sun is already dipping.
I’ve lost my momentum, and that bit
of tangible hope & energy I felt
has already escaped me.
Wet at a campfire; only a few matches left
and a crappy Circle K lighter that
doesn’t really work.
But what does one honestly expect for 89¢?
Then I remember: I’m the girl
who always carries the Well-Stocked Emergency Kit.
Go back. Look again.
You’ll find some more matches.