today was my writing workshop with the women from journey out.
i was called forth as healer and facilitator
At first, I had difficulty leading an interactive discussion with the group of women.
1 black, 1 russian, 1 asian, 1 multiracial, 2 latina’s.
age range: 21-30s
Every single one of them
several of the women attend the workshop as mandatory hours to
fulfill court orders. You can imagine, some don’t want to be there. But I’m happy to learn from them and speak. Show them potential and beauty. A place for peace. Let’s be honest, they’re more broken than me, their attitude is sweet, but mean. In their space I’m complete. Their aura was strong energy. I entered naively, not fully aware of their world, their abuse or brokenness.
I talk to them as though they are fragile
Because they’re so tough
they need softness
I inject softness.
And I prayed in our space
I give them my poems. They’re silent. We begin to create..
What would you like to improve so that tomorrow can be a better day?
I ask them, but i’m also asking myself
“Stop smoking meth.”
I look at her with serious loving eyes because she instigates to wait for my judgement.
Well, what do you do for fun?
I have them color the flowers and petals I assigned them to draw
“I like to color.” She replies.
Do you color neatly inside the lines? My hand always slips
I giggle to show her my carefree attitude.
“Oh i definitely color in the lines… “
She softens for a moment, then closes back up. I exit our conversation
What about you? What do you like to do?
I like to sing. She replies. She’s 21
Ironically, when I first saw her I imagined Alicia Keys.
Sing for me please
She’s shy, but she walked in so confident, tough, and complete.
Guards down. We are a bunch of naive she’s.
She’s from Moscow. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and pouty lips.
A sight to see
A Russian beauty
Soul and heart speak
When our eyes meet.
She thanks me
Do you like to cook? What are some russian dishes?
I don’t have clue, but I try to keep up.
I’ve never had Borsh soup, but i write it down to remember and try it sometime. Describe Moscow for me please.
The women are happy I asked because we all could use a vacation. I want us to travel with her words..
She tells us, “It’s very beautiful and rich. Delicious food. So good.”
Language barrier. Intercultural communication. I think of techniques.
Is this collectivist or individualist culture? Low maintenance or high maintenance? Low context or high context? Think. Think.
Luckily, the pretty latina who also had pouty lips joins in
“I wish I could go! I heard y’all stunt over there”
(I’m actually in my element.)
Apparently, the pouty lipped latina likes to smoke herb and stay at home.
She tells me “Yeah I don’t like to do much because I’m lazy.”
I can tell she’s lying. She’s intelligent, and she thinks I don’t see.
I tell her I’m a homebody, but I like to write and create. I don’t share much detail of myself…
I was the one who was judged for being a college student.
I hadn’t thought of measurement. Tip of the iceberg, i learned that in my psychology course years ago.
I plant seeds in her mind, subconsciously.
Every single one of them love to cook. They share with me their recipes,
“Man. I’m hungry that sounds so damn good”
Yo for real.. I wish I had some too.
She looks at me. She knew that was in me all along.
Long fake eyelashes. yellow acrylic nails. Black long hair, a beige dress, and heels. Her name is d…..
She arrives late. I’m not mad, the most powerful women do show up late. She’s enjoys makeup. Her face is Art
She sits directly behind because there’s barely any space. She analyzes when my back faces her.
I’m intrigued, and I’m glad I was.
She was the most intelligent woman I’d met in a very long time. Her mind stimulated mine. She’s an emerging vegan activist, one may mistake her as something other than. She shares her knowledge. Begins to talk of leather pursues. I cringe, and remember my belongings.
Hey you just taught me so much, tell us more!
She loves the spotlight. She’s dressed for one too. Incredible knowledge. I love her, I wish I could hug her too.
I lean back on my chair
give them my heart and eyes.
They wrote for my workshop, drew and colored, pretty flowers,
but they wanted to be heard
So I asked the right questions
I’m finally comfortable.
You know you’re all beautiful. Every single one of you. In case no one’s told you lately. I want to tell you that you’re also extremely intelligent.
They hadn’t been told in a while
At least not by the right people.