A week or so ago, I mentioned I’d be attending my first writers’ circle. And so I did.
I’m used to writing and putting it out in to the world. But I do it in a bubble. Even short social media posts I labor over in solitude, writing and re-writing.
This writers’ circle asked you to drop deeply inside, tune in to your inner knowing, and give words to the page. Nothing is edited. Language and emotion surface, and you offer it up. Turns out it’s a lot like receiving a life coaching session.
What I didn’t expect, being that I consider myself a fairly seasoned writer, is how vulnerable I’d feel reading those fresh words to the strangers with whom I shared that space. I did it anyway. In fact, I went first.
I noticed the tremble in my voice as I read aloud. I didn’t anticipate so much fear over a few sentences, a paragraph. But in the end, who cares about my shaky voice? I’d only care if I didn’t share it, didn’t add my voice to the collective.
For me, this writing time was deep, soulful, radical play, even with the nerves and unsteady feelings. I can’t wait to return to the experience. And, if it's your pleasure, here are a couple sentences that rose up when prompted to write about place and music…
Moving lazy and without intention across blistering pavement were sounds of car doors slamming, glasses rattling, voices humming, and above it all, the tuning of a well-loved guitar. A soft croon and music I'd felt before crawled the parking lot, presenting itself to me. A song I knew because of an old guy with a full salt-and-pepper beard, who would talk guitar and music with me whenever it made sense. And it always made sense. This song, this song, Luckenbach, Texas, took me back to the old guy’s stories of riding his motorcycle with his blonde wife, her arms tight at his waist, down nearly forgotten roads of the Lone Star state, and how when they were done being lost they made their way into Austin. But now, too warm and too restless, gone and almost-gone country singers insisted and pulled at me, sending me time-traveling, making me long for hot, dusty road trips of my own, in a car littered with chocolate bar wrappers and cigarette ash, windows down. Always, windows down.
(Full disclosure: I did a little editing on this paragraph. But just a little. )