Tag Archives: Mary Pierce Brosmer

Writing retreat

I am at my laptop the last evening of the writing retreat. I am not far from home although others are. Distance is a funny thing–it can be geographical or mental. Eleven women trained by Mary Pierce Brosmer as teachers in Women Writing for a Change practices are here at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Glendale, Ohio. It is a (usually) annual retreat. I missed last year so I was happy to retreat this year.
We begin and end in a large circle, just as we do in classes. In between writing and discussion we eat, are in small groups getting and giving feedback, did I say eat?, and conclude our evenings with wine and laughter. We share stories from our lives, joke, touch on Big Questions. Some of us have known one another for years, decades even. It’s a sisterhood on many levels. We have shared in ways you can when you are intentional on a retreat.
I really just wanted to have this experience documented–until the next retreat, I hope.

a podcast with Sylvia, along with Poem #32

I just finished listening to the podcast I hosted with Sylvia Meek, a fellow student in the Tuesday morning class of Women Writing for (a) Change. Sylvia is quite inspiring! She had a career as a speech pathologist; she and her husband Henry had adopted a little girl; and Sylvia is a polio survivor.

When the usual host, Mary Pierce Brosmer, was unavailable, my sister podcaster, Annette Januzzi Wick, suggested in a moment of inspiration that I give it a try. After all, Sylvia and I had a connection:  we had been in class together for several sessions and in the same small group twice in a row. I thought, why not? I’d been the interviewee in the past, why not try the other role?

What made it work was thinking of it as a conversation for it was — a conversation with Sylvia about how she’d found Women Writing for (a) Change, what her life had been about up to now, and a sharing of some of the pieces she had written. I was familiar with most of them so this helped. I tried not to let the microphones and the women recording in the corner of the room distract the two of us from the intimacy we were sharing.

Poem #32

how it feels to be free
sharing in a room filled with women
knowing our words will be heard around the world

http://podcast.womenwriting.org/2009/04/21/how-it-feels-to-be-free-with-sylvia-meek.aspx

spending the day creatively, Poem #27

I spent a working day over at The Writing Hall, as some of us at Women Writing for (a) Change call the school’s building in Silverton. I am a student in the Tuesday morning class, newly into Spring Quarter. The class is largely returning writers interspersed with a handful of new ones.

Today we made altars to share something of ourself. The problem? I forgot. All but C. and I dutifully brought objects meaningful to us to display in whatever corner of the room we could claim as our own. I assured C. (a fellow Aquarian, by the way/did that make us spacier?) that we likely had items with us that could quickly be made into an altar.

So it was. I took my mala, a book on the Divine Mother just given to me by Jenny as I walked into class, took out my library card and PetSmart card (to show I love reading and animals), and borrowed a few stones and a flower from the center cloth of our class circle. I wrote a note saying how I had forgotten about bringing items for my altar but would honor this practice of spontaneity that lay before me. It worked! We left notes, if we chose to, and I got positive feedback on my experiment.

After class, Jenny Stanton and I prepared for the podcast with Dawn, a sister student. We fired up the laptop, brought up Garage Band, plugged in microphones, tested them, and were ready for Mary Pierce Brosmer, founder of the organization, to interview Dawn Diebold about her writing, plus Dawn would read several of her pieces.

I, the one recording (more officially known as ‘technical producer’) have the privilege of a sneak preview of the podcast before it is posted online. Now that I’ve recorded half a dozen times (thanks to my mentor, Annette Januzzi Wick!), I can actually relax enough to enjoy the process — as well as the creativity involved. Yes! to spending my Tuesday doing what I love — creatively so.

Poem #27

creativity is not always words,
it can show itself in the untangling of microphone cords
and the tracking of sound waves on a computer screen.

http://www.womenwriting.org/PODCASTS.html