WWf(a)C: A Not-So-Brief Review…

After visiting the Women Writing for (a) Change website, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first thought was that there would be lots of women in flowing skirts and comfortable shoes. (In reality, most of the women were in capris or dockers-style pants and comfortable shoes.)

The session I planned to attend was part of the Conscious Conversation series. The discussion topic was: “Who Stole Mother’s Day? How did what began as a mother’s movement against war become a Hallmark moment? What else has been co-opted and undermined?”


After visiting the Women Writing for (a) Change website, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first thought was that there would be lots of women in flowing skirts and comfortable shoes. (In reality, most of the women were in capris or dockers-style pants and comfortable shoes.)

The session I planned to attend was part of the Conscious Conversation series. The discussion topic was: “Who Stole Mother’s Day? How did what began as a mother’s movement against war become a Hallmark moment? What else has been co-opted and undermined?”

Sounds interesting, so I arrive just before 7PM and am greeted by the founder who immediately recognizes that I’m a newcomer. All of the 18 other attendees are return visitors, many planning to attend another program the next day.

I receive a tour of the facility, which is 2 floors and a basement. It’s a great space with breakout areas, a-20 person conference room, kitchen and lots of storage. There is even daycare for people attending the session. The décor is very soft, with lots of quilts, pillows and paintings of women.

A bell chimes to call everyone to sit in a large circle around a lit candle and orchid. The moderator welcomes everyone and passes around a green rock. When the rock gets to you, you say your name and why you’re there. Of the 18, one is male (he’s there with his date), most of the women are 40+. All are white and appear middle to upper-middle class.

A poem is read and there’s a brief discussion about it. Then the history of Mother’s day is discussed. I had no idea that Mother’s day started out as a grassroots anti-war movement. Then a discussion about Sunday’s demonstration in five parks locally.

A regular is asked to read the Mother’s Day proclamation and the group is given 15 minutes to write about the given discussion topic or whatever they are thinking about that may/may not be directly relevant.

At the end of 15 minutes, the bell chimes calling everyone back to the circle and the rock is passed around again. Circle-sitters are invited to read what they have written but are also given the option to pass if they would like. More than half chose to read. Only one person has written about the discussion topic as given (guess who). Most write about memories of their mothers or grandmothers. Many of them have the “unlived life” as a theme. This seems sad. Although I’ve never been to group therapy, this is what I imagine it would be like.

After everyone has had a chance to read their story, the group then reads back lines that were significant to them as listeners. This goes on for about 5 minutes and creates a weird but kind of cool poem.

Then there is more discussion. I am surprised to see that the 2 hours is passing fairly quickly.

Takeaways:
WWf(a)C seems more about discussing writing than actually writing. (Although this was just one experience.)
The women in attendance seem to find comfort, support and/or validation there.
It’s different and if you’re open to new experiences, I recommend going at least once.

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