#TheWrite2Heal Kickoff Event on September 27, 2017
I hugged the free hugger and it was for me and not for him. I needed a hug and I took one from him. I approached his open arms slowly, wrapped my arms around him and he wrapped his around me. I closed my eyes and thought about his blindfold. I pressed my fingertips into the muscles in his back.
I thought about how it would end, this hug, when we would let go. I felt him reading me, reading my fingers in his back, reading my own back with his fingers, and thought about how he could probably feel my ribcage, just beneath my shoulder blades. How we’d read each other to know when the hug was done, when it was time. Like two cowboys, ten paces apart, eyeing each other to know when to draw.–djd
Except exactly the opposite, this hug. Eyes closed, fingertips soft and listening, so close we were wrapped in each other, guessing, waiting for the other to come back to life.
The #Write2Heal event was an important way for me to process my experiences, post the August 11th and 12th rallies. WriterHouse provided a safe and comfortable space for participants to share both their grief and hope for our community in a time when it felt most critical to be able to do this together.–Dana Mich
Slumped forward in a wheelchair over a cast set just yesterday, tears drip from your chin. You hold hands with fellow mourners as flowers pile at your feet. You were so close—just inches—from death. Quick enough to save your fiancé, but wondering if that was enough.
It was. It has to be.
You are my hero, not because you were quick and strong, though you are, but because you cry openly, doing for some of us what we cannot yet do: mourn for all that is lost. –Anonymous
I drove to Charlotesville specifically as a growing platform on which I can face head on the effects of my PTSD so that I may slay the demons associated with it, in poetic form. Thank you for allowing my efforts to collectively gather. May the waves of compassion sculpt a new shore. –Cari Still
In Solidarity from Across the Country
Who was your hero on August 12th?
I’m not from the Charlottesville area, so I could only watch in helplessness and horror, cold chills creeping up my spine and into my heart, as I watched the torch-bearing crowd chanting their hate-filled slogans.
There were many heroes, though. NOT those who came to fight with clubs, shields, and even cars, but those who came to fight hatred with love, to overcome darkness with light, as MLK prescribed. They were the Helpers that Mr. Rogers spoke of, marching in peace, kneeling beside the wounded, saving lives. —Patty Kline-Capaldo, Creative Light Services
The Problem of Holding On
My wrist aches as I write these words, my hand clenches like I can’t let go. It only releases when I admit that I don’t know what to write. . . . that it feels like too much and I am not enough . . . Open hand. Open heart. Open Mind? Since August 12th, I’ve been closing my mind like it’s a fist. Set in my ideas. Wanting to do what’s right. But what does the loving option look like? How do I maintain an unclenched fist and an open heart?–Lisa Ellison
We the people watch a lot of news. A lot of news has a lot of disaster and violence in it. We see the stories of other communities, of loss, of helping others move through grief toward recovery. Then dinner is ready, it’s time to go to bed and we turn off the TV and the disaster is over and the sadness and violence is gone.
There is a strange longing to help, to go “there,” wherever “there” is. Puerto Rico is now that place, having been leveled to ruins by Hurricane Maria. I watch the desperate pleas of the brave mayor, wading in chest-deep water to help her people. I go to bed wondering how these people will get water and food and enough gas to keep their generators going. Their stories about losing everything jostle around in my jangled brain. My life seems stupid compared to these needs. My car is making a strange noise and a small tribe of sugar ants has invaded my kitchen. Cat fur is collecting in the corners of my home. But I have a home, I have a car and a way to get around. And I have a cat. She did not float away in a biblical flood. –Sibley Johns
Interested in upcoming #TheWrite2Heal events? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org