I look forward to the third Monday of every month because my book club meets. Even when I’m not crazy about the book we chose, I love getting together with my friends who love reading and books as much as I do. This month we read, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” by Joan Didion. It is a book that describes her life during the first year after her husband’s death. Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne, both writers, spent all their days together. They worked at home together. They traveled together. They had a daughter. They were married for 40 years. And then he died.
This was a hard book for me to read. Her loss became a reminder of so much loss in my own life. My friends at book club agreed. We all said it was hard to read, but so important to talk about. We could all relate to her. I think Joan Didion was brave to show us her process in mourning and grief so powerfully in words. Most of us can’t get the words together to really express what we are feeling. Sometimes we know exactly what we want to say, but it makes others uncomfortable to hear our pain. After listening to the others in the group talk about how they were touched by Didion’s description of her own journey through grief and mourning, I realized that this is exactly why I felt called to create Soothing Your Soul writing classes. All of us experience the same things in this life. We all have joys and sorrows, births and deaths. What we don’t do very well sometimes, is to give each other room to talk about these important junctures. We all have the same feelings but we express them in such different ways. Sometimes it is like we are speaking different languages. It’s easy to feel alone in the crowd.
Just like I found friends who like to read, I am looking for other writers. Writing has always been where I put my thoughts. It’s a way to release them. It’s a way to have fun with words. I have heard so many people say that they are interested in the writing classes but they don’t feel like they are writers. They worry that they will be the odd one out in the class – alone in a crowd. The classes are designed to encourage people to use personal writing as a way to expand their creativity. It’s a class to give people a place to write what’s in their hearts. This class is intended to be fun and creative, and is open to all skill levels. We aren’t looking for writers, we’re looking for people who might enjoy writing as a way to express what is inside.
The Holly Springs Arts Council is partnering with me to offer two sessions of Soothing the Soul: Writing Through Life’s Hurdles. Part of the mission of the arts council is supporting the healing arts. I have hesitated calling these “writing to heal” classes because it might sound too much like therapy. I’m not a therapist, but I know that writing soothes my soul. I’m looking for other people want to get to know that part of themselves that wants to write.
Sign up today for Soothing the Soul: Writing Through Life’s Hurdles:
Wednesday, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5, 10-12pm
Thursday, September 15, 22, 29 and October 6, 6:30-8:30pm
Held at Holly Springs Coworking Station, 104 West Ballentine Street (former Police Station)
Class size is limited to 8 and will meet for 4 weeks. Cost $40
More information and registration for class: http://bit.ly/2afdUMR
Sponsored by the Holly Springs Arts Council and the Hope James Foundation