Monday, April 29, 2019

Well Writing: Poems as Medicine / Writing in Community

Blind Contour Drawing by Sonja Horoshko
Well Writing has been an amazingly successful endeavor. I have been so curious as to what might happen when people come together to dive deeply into the experience of writing together from the depths of the heart, using writing as medicine rather than an academic pursuit. 

The goal was to provide safe space and techniques ranging from free writing, poetry, art journalling, collage, dreamwork and nature writing; all portals to connection with our centered, wise selves. Through this connection, we might access meaning and purpose in our lives, find resilience in creative "wellness" and express a voice freed from previous wounding or fears about creative expression. And find a community of like-minded, soulful individuals-  others to share our growing voices with. I was honored to guide these brave explorers and pleased with the first experience and the feedback. 

"Well Writing has grounded out my sense of self and my sense of being. It's brought me back- it has reintroduced myself to me and I like the company!"

And this feedback makes me laugh. It is "high" praise indeed!
"Almost better than laying naked in the desert high on mushrooms. I believe that some of the work that has born out of this experience has been some of my best...the words I wrote aren't so bad either."
Ha..."almost"... that's ok, I'll get there! 

I based the poetry writing aspect of the workshop, in part, on ideas from John Fox and his book Poetic Medicine. He states, “Poetry is a natural medicine, it is like a homeopathic tincture derived from the stuff of life itself – your experience. Poems distill experience into essentials. Our personal experiences touch the common ground we share with others. The exciting part of this process is that poetry used in this healing way helps people integrate the disparate, even fragmented parts of their life. Poetic essences of sound, metaphor, image, feeling and rhythms act as remedies that can elegantly strengthen our whole system - physical, mental and spiritual."

Well Writing Studio set up for art and collage.

We used this writing prompt  for poem-making:
Consider poetry or the poetic/writing spirit as your companion. Imagine this poetic spirit befriending you, speaking to you. How and where does this muse appear, what does it look like? A muse is simply an inspiration of any kind; a person, place, being, feeling, etc. When did this poetic friend enter your life? How does this muse know how to reach your heart? Where do you feel the muse in your body? What is it like to have this companion, or what would it be like if it vanished suddenly?

I really enjoyed this prompt, and wrote this poem from it.

My Constant

My poetic companion
is the indigo in my shadow—
she follows me everywhere,
            yet she is already stepping
            before I even lift my feet,
has already chosen a perfect path, just seconds
before I place my soles back down upon earth.

She has the ears of a Lynx,
hears everything all day,
that which is said, or not spoken but perceived
by her wildflower heart.

At night she waltzes in my dreams,
she sings to me, a harp song only I can hear,
            her laughter is a vastness,
            her wisdom is a landscape,
she is a mixologist of visions and magic,
takes tears and sips them like cocktails.

I used to know who I was.
Now, I am last year’s lavender,
dried stalks standing in the new green growth.
She reassures me — don’t worry,
something new is forming
in the unseen and the elements of this transition.

Her steady voice reminds me
that I won’t always be this lost.
Today she is the fragrance of desert sage
wet with easy spring rain,
it fell just like a whisper,
making the air so luminous
after wandering the dimmest darkness.
Everything is ready to burst open
      I too will grow, she tells me so.

-Renee Podunovich, 2019

Next Series Starts: 6/7/19- space is limited, pre-registration required. Visit my website: