Tag Archives: writing groups

tenderness

Tenderness is an interesting word to me. Affection is part of its definition as is delicate, gentle, sensitive. Once I had a character say, I’ve known love and I’ve known passion, but tenderness is best. There’s someone in our writing group. She comes in quietly. She talks little, but she has distinct presence. She often brings something unexpected. The first time I wrote with the group, afterwards, she gave me a book of poems, and said, Welcome to Taos. Another time she brought cake which she couldn’t eat, but which she wanted to share. She gives thoughtful prompts: am I a man who dreamed he was a butterfly or the butterfly who dreamed he was a man? Several of us wrote off that. As we were listening to others share, she tore a page out of a notebook to give out. It was information about Taos County butterflies. Their names were wonderful: skipper, dustywing, cloudywing. She reads quietly when it’s her turn. Her writing can almost be Zen in its simplicity. Heartbreak has been in her life. Somehow she personifies  tenderness, fragile, worn at the edges by life, but there….

What do you know about tenderness? Why is it so unique? Is it its gentleness in our increasingly noisy world?

oil

I’ve joined a writing group here in Taos. Everyone brings a saying or quote. We throw them out. We write from the prompt of one or more for 30 minutes. We share, but no critique, just what we liked in each other’s writing. I love this kind of writing, gentle, explorative, safe, and so often, revealing. This last week, the oil spill came up in several people’s writing. There was everything from rage to prayers for us and the earth. Last night, at a dinner party, the spill came up again. Again, rage and blame. What can we do? What if people just met one evening and did a candlelight vigil for the Gulf? One of those same time all over the place vigils? And there are always petitions to sign, and congress people to write. Being here in Taos, where nature is so vibrant and where space has been protected from development because of the Pueblo, I wonder if the Pueblo Indians are still keeping guard over the earth. That’s what I’ve heard; that their religion is the earth and sky and that their life is around loving and celebrating both. But there aren’t very many of them, and modern life is making inroads into their culture.

I wonder what it’s going to take to get people to let the powers-that-be know that enough is enough? We have to begin, no matter how hard, to be more in harmony with the place that sustains us. So what do you say: pick an evening, get a candle, make a sign that says “enough,” call a couple of friends, and stand vigil for just a little while for the Gulf and for the earth…..