or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Mothers' Writing Group › Thank you and here is your assignment!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Thank you and here is your assignment!

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Dear Writing Mama's,

Thank you so much for your loving and affirmative feedback. In all honesty, I posted my doubts ten days ago and was surprised to check the site this morning and find the responses from you wonderful woman.

So, I'm back. And will just go back to suggesting topics. You all have renewed my spirit and inspired me. I really had lost site of what really mattered and you all set me straight. It's not about me doing things perfectly any more than expecting you to do things perfectly.

I had gotten so down on myself that I couldn't figure out how to make feedback what I wanted it to be that I was ready to throw in the towel. For whatever reason, I am able to give helpful feedback verbally and in person and have no idea how to model what I want in this forum. I really felt like I had failed you all. I am letting go of that perception and thank you all for being my teachers and for offering me such unconditional acceptance.

So, let's jump into a writing new year! A little late but better than not at all!

Love, Tanya


Write ten minutes this week on the topics of:

"Renewal"," Light", and "What I most want to Learn"

I am going to write a few quotes. Pick one and freewrite on what it inspires in you for twenty minutes this week:

"To receive is the ultimate giving" - Gangaji

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish others" - Mark Twain

" A setback is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently" -Henry Ford

"What you think of youself is much more important than what others think of you" _Seneca

"A mind is it's own place and in itself, can make heaven of Hell and a hell of Heaven"- Milton

" What is within surrounds us" _Rainer Marie Wilke


Bonus assignment:
Take a walk this week and meditate on the question, "what inspires me and how can I create more of that in my life?" Come home and write on your answers for twenty minutes

Begin a freewrite with one of these phrases:

Things were slow in coming to fruition.............

The day I died, it was raining

My child looked up at me with pleading............

The last time I had seen him..............

Yesteday, it all seemed so..................

See you next week!
post #2 of 36

Happy New Year!

I'm too busy jumping up and down in celebration of your staying to make all your words be still enough so I can read them! Oh, so many assignments, so little time (parents are visiting this week), but I will do as many as I can get to.

You help give me focus; I never for a minute felt as if you failed us. I've been checking in often hoping to hear from you.

Thank you so much for deciding to stay.
post #3 of 36

The air is silky, moist and warm
tears are running down my face
I'm coming home
to you, to me
to the self that sings harmoniously with the world
to the one who sees the moon and smiles
feeling so heavy and so light,
so slippery
and baby new
the miracle of life and blood

we can all be reborn
we can squat in esctasy and pain
and cry and howl
then see the newness that it brings
rejoicing in life
you told me that you were sorry
that you prayed to God to heal your baby from the bad you did to her
and that you know God will...
i know too, that through you and your apology
i am renewed
there is no one else to blame
I am free and new
post #4 of 36
Oh, thank GOD!!

I am so excited to have an assignment!!

In all seriousness... Tanya, I have cherished the opportunity to write, and have appreciated your thoughtful assignments in the past.

Thank you for your time and energy!
post #5 of 36


Light feeds me.

I have learned that to stay sane in the winter I have to be up before the sun and then try not to blink once it's up. I must savor every single ray, every drop of light filtering down through the cloud cover. Even at this very moment I can see the black outside my window turning to ink blue shapes, triangles and trapezoids, between the branches of the chestnut tree, and hope fills me once again.

Light is everything and it is nothing. It is the white of the paper, perfectly preserved among the contours and shadows, but it is also every color of the rainbow, all mixed together, they tell me. Break it apart with a shard of glass and the colors will spill out.

Yes, I can grasp that, I can believe it, how light carries all the colors; it brings me all the energy I will ever need. Make me choose between light and food and you will find my bones sprawled on the ground in the summer sunshine. If I had to choose between light and electricity, I would happily cook over a fire.

Light drives me. Last summer I produced seven paintings in less than three months when the sun was highest. Winter has brought with it sluggish paint flow, my brush hand moving slowly. My mind, my eyes move slowly. My body edges around rooms by the windows, seeking out bits of sunshine here and there. Cold light or warm light, just please give me brightness.

The room I am in has four light fixtures and ten light bulbs, 490 watts of full spectrum madness. This is my favorite room, my heart room. In the deepest part of winter it is my submarine and I am enclosed in layers, bathed in light surrounded by the wet cold darkness beyond. These walls hold in light and keep me alive.
post #6 of 36
Why, why, why didn't I check out this forum LONG ago???

THANK YOU, Tanya! I just did my first assignment... and am so excited to get the creativity flowing again in my life.
post #7 of 36
How does this forum work? Can anybody just jump right in? It's definitely peaked my interest.
post #8 of 36

Hey I'm New

Hi, I'm new to the forum and I have found you in a point in my life when I have decided it's time to dedicate more, err, time to my writing. I work outside my home and have two lovelies who are two and a half and 5 months. my husband stays at home with them right now.
Alright, here goes

The day I died it was raining. A wonderful torrential down pour. The kind you only see in the South. A tremendous show of clouds and thunder and lighting. Rain came down in sheets.
As I pushed one last time and my daughter was born. 40 weeks worth of life sustaining saline emptied out of me along with my new babe. She came silently. Eyes closed. Face blue.
My heart stopped. I died.
We need to suction her nose. Worried looks in my direction. My husband, not making eye contact. My mother beffuddled. I in a dream. Not happening. Not possible. No drugs, no caffeine, no Tylenol, no wine for 40 weeks. What's this? No cry, no baby suckling at my breast, no life in my womb. Emptiness. Silence all around me.
Then a cry. Small and weak.
Now, a warm, moist body against my bare chest. Tiny mouth nuzzling my breast. My heart beats again.
I live.
post #9 of 36

first writing

I am posting something from week 1. I did this first to get the ball rolling, and since that thread is closed I hope it's OK to put it here.

I REMEMBER how you first presented yourself. Bold, unadorned. Quite offended by the state in which you found yourself - wet, cold, naked creamy skin. Eyes accosted by light, space and air. Your lids clung together for dear life.

There weren't yet words to express love, awe or humility. These didn't make themselves known right away. First I had to feel dumbfounded, unaware, completely in the dark as to what my life held in store. And I didn't know how to hold you just yet.

So you left the room, graciously giving me time to collect my thoughts. My pride surfaced. Proud that I could say I had only a nine-hour labor, that it was "easy". No matter that I whimpered and curled up at my body's first attempts to get you on your way. No matter that I gave in to the soothing epidural elixir.

I had watched as they tended to you, waiting my turn. When that turn came, we looked at each other with surveying eyes. And began.
post #10 of 36

I'm new, can I try?

Yesterday, it all seemed so.... pointless. Pointless in getting up and dressing myself. Pointless in eating that bowl of cereal that was poured for me. Pointless in doing those mundane household chores.

It was pointless because I wasn't going anywhere outside of my house yesterday, so I didn't get dressed. I staying in my pajamas, my warm comfortable pajamas, all day long.

It was pointless because I didn't see the bowl of cereal and ate a leftover taco instead. Mmmmm, taco's....

It was pointless because the washer was broken and so those mundane chores couldn't even begin even if I wanted too.

So yesterday, it all seemed so.... fun. As I spent the day in my pajama's, munching on leftover taco's, and spending time with my beautiful baby girl.

post #11 of 36
Here are a couple of my efforts from this week:

Things were slow in coming to fruition. That’s how it is when you don’t talk to strangers. So we glanced at each other occasionally; involved ourselves in the same circles of friends. Propinquity, you said. First comes propinquity, then comes marriage.

We were married.

Things were slow in coming to fruition. That’s how it is when two cells glance at each other. So we waited, awed by the swelling belly. Labor, we said. First comes labor, then comes life.

We have life.

We are family.

On second thought, I'll keep it to just one writing. The others deserve a bit more work!
post #12 of 36
The last time I had seen him was in the restaurant near the university.
"Hey, mi amor!" he said. Wrapping his arms around me, trying hard to make it seem all was well. A father and daughter having a snack. I tried not to stiffen under his embrace. Tried to partake in his wish for normalcy. But my mother's blood runs through my veins--hot and resentful--and I can only go through the motions.
He walks up to the doors like a cowboy and like a true gentleman holds it open for me. Could this be the same man who held my mother's hair in his grasp as he shouted insults into her face? The same man who disappeared for six months at a time in my childhood only to resurface and do just this.
So we order and sit together. My mother's eyes staring back. My mother's voice making small talk. He's proud of me because I am going to the university. His genes. His ultimate reason for being. His daughter.
But I am my mother's daughter. No longer daddy's little girl.
Even though I long to be.
Now, he is dead. Indeed, his children were his ultimate reason for being. His ultimate accomplishments. Four boys, two girls. His legacy to the world. His genes in my legs, my build, my sister's face, our eyes. Otherwise our father is forgotten.
The last time I saw him was the last time.
post #13 of 36


well i am new to this group and really i just stumbled onto it by accident or perhaps it was fate. i am not very computer friendly, never posted on a forum so i am hoping this works. i have not written since i was in highschool but have had the urge to get back at it again. i am excited to join this group and look forward to reading all of your writings as well as the feedback. so here it goes.....


I. As i tuck my daughter in for another night she asks "The Question?" "Is the light on in the kitchen?" I involuntarily look towards the stairs and see the faint glow of the light illuminating up. I turn back to my daughter, pull the covers over her and answer "yes it is on". The tone of the answer is determined by the stress of the day and where my patient level is at as evening closes in around us. Every night the question is asked as well as answered. Can she not see the light herself? Of course she can.
Why is it we take comfort with the light on? Logic,sometimes i try to persuade her into believing that what is there in the light is also there in the dark....but that is not comforting to her. She must see this for herself and know the answer will always be "yes".

II. Light, heat, warmth.

Lying on the queen sized bed upstairs while the sun streams in from the window.

Feel the heat of it, loving every moment of it.

A place of comfort and warmth we can escape to in our drafty home.

A refuge from the dreaded snowy and icy day that is trying to invade our walls.

Laughter from my girls mingles with the suns rays.

Sleepy eyes from heat make my head heavy and i lie on the pillow and soak up the love.

III. Light, large illuminating brown eyes. My three year olds eyes are enormous and shine with imagination, love and joy. Sometimes i ache to live in those eyes. Really, just crawl right into them. Did my eyes ever hold that much light?

Janette Santiago
post #14 of 36
Welcome to all the new writing mommies....


I often find myself asking how many times fate can expect me to have my life shattered and have the strength to pick up the pieces and start all over again. It gets harder every time... and every time I wonder if I haven't suffered enough already--don't I deserve an end to this?

And each time I manage to pick up the pieces and put a new life in order. But then there are the times when I emerge a new person altogether. There are the times where I don't just move on, I grow. I am suddenly older and wiser and better equipped for some element of life trauma that I was not previously prepared for.

Now, for the first time, I am aching for that kind of renewal. I am longing for something in me to snap and force those changes that come from the tragedies that are usually thrust upon me without mercy. I want change. I want to find my footing. I want rebirth. I want to move on. But I'm stuck... and spiraling downward. And I wonder how much will run amuck and how much damage will be done before I hit rock bottom and am forced to make the changes I am longing for. I wonder what I will lose in the process. And moreso, I wonder what I will become afterward.

I look back to the great heights I have achieved in my life after such events. I look back to the different renewals of myself in envy. I just wish that a butterfly didn't required the confinement, darkness, starvation and solitude of the cocoon to emerge beautiful and free.
post #15 of 36

"What you think of youself is much more important than what others think of you" _Sen

What if I'm harder on myself than anybody else I know? What if my mother forgives my ingratitude; my husband forgives my aloofness, overlooks my postpartum figure and cleans the toilets for the millionth time without complaints, and my daughters forget my loss of temper, the imperfect, OK, messy, house and lack of baking or cooking?
I am the one whose voice I hear over and over again
telling me how fat I am
telling me how messy my house is
telling me that I should cook, clean, call my mother, hold my daughter, love my husband, exercise and sleep more.
Maybe sometimes what others think is more true, or atleast more merciful, than what we tell ourselves? How can we look through our loved ones eyes and see what they see? How do we take that complement (Hey, you look great today, mamasita!) and say thanks. And mean it. Without the internal dialog that deconstructs the speaker's intention (oh yeah right, well what about this gut? He must mean I look great for someone who had a baby four months ago. four months? shouldn't I be back to my old self again? My sister in law was wearing a bikini at 8 weeks post. Why can't I get myself to the gym? Because I have not time. If only my husband would help me more. i hardly have time to think. what should I make for dinner? Maybe he'll have it cooked already. Yeah right. I better get back inside before that guy gets a real good look at me. He might retract his comment.)
Whose voice do I listen to then? Should my self love be extrinsically motivated? Am I to wait, panting like a puppy for a bone from my own psyche?
What of this body that has carried two extraordinarily smart and beautiful babies and birthed them without drugs? What of these breasts that nourish one human being and please another? What of these arms that hold and rock and embrace?
Apparently they don't suffice.
So I make a resolution. To love myself as I make progress. To love myself as I don't. To love myself for who I will be, am and was.

: :infant: :ribbonpin
post #16 of 36


I long for the simplicity of life as it was
Life without this maddening desire
To greedily consume all that there is
A simpler time when there was so little to be had
When the world was at my fingertips
Because all that I beheld was mine to hold...
That time which is behind me
For I have tasted the riches that the world has to offer
And the greed has taken hold of my soul
Cavernous and gaping
Maddenly, wantonly
As though to swallow me whole
The more I taste, the more I want
And I wish desperately to go back
To that simpler time

So now I give it back
The food and the wine
This sweetness now bitter on my tounge
I give it back
The warmth of my blankets
The clothes on my back
Take it all
Take it back
Until naked and shivering
I embrace the warm sun
And the rich earth
The sweet smell of the grass
The taste of the dew
Until I revel in the beauty of what is
The richness of life
In its simplicity
post #17 of 36
All right, I may have to prop my eyelids open to stay awake, but here goes one more. Hurry, hurry, before the baby senses my thoughts are straying from her and decides to wake the house in protest...


I close my eyes to shield them from the light which glares mercilessly, boring into my brain with the strength of a thousand hammers. I can feel the throbbing in my temples increasing with such fury, a drumbeat pulsing in my head. I am at war within myself. What is wrong and what is even more wrong...how does one make a decision when neither choice is right? This pounding in my head gives way to nausea, and the light is ever so bright, blinding me with it's intensity. I grip my temples, tearing at my eyes to ease them of this torment. If I could erase the events that led to my awakening, if I could hide from this light in the dark of ignorant bliss...I felt so strong only yesterday. Yet in the face of this blinding light, my resolve crumbles.

The room is dark and silent once more. It is late. Hours must have passed, perhaps days. I uncurl my limbs and stumble to my feet. I am trembling. I lift my head and catch my breath, splashing icy water on my face. I wonder who I am, who I was only yesterday. The same person looked back at me in this mirror. How firm and steady her gaze, how still the calm in her eyes. Yet now...now I am unrecognizable. Silently, I gather my resolve once more. I face this demon and stare down the stranger until the stranger has become familiar once more. Grimly, I smile a knowing smile and turn to face the light. In the silence I hear my heart cry out, echoing in the caverns of my soul.

(Sorry so morbid...what do you expect at 1:54 AM?)
post #18 of 36
What I want most to learn is to be in the moment: to not be bound by past events or future expectations. I want to learn how to turn off the movie that plays every mistake and failure, every sin I have commited over and over with my mother's voice to narrate the nuance of each. I want to switch off the crazy projection of future "should be's" if I do things "right"; the never ending plotting and pruning to get to "supose to". I want to break the cycle of matrilineal neurosis passed down so effeciently from my grandmother to my mother to me. The obsession with perfection and all the ways we don't fit it that must be covered up and lied about, plastered over and painted on. (It is ever so important to always be effortlessly presentable and also to point out where others are ever so much less presentable than we.)
I want to be seen for who I am rather than what I present; which means being still long enough to know that and secure enough to stop the presentation.
I want most to learn to be still even when my toddler is screaming and the door bell is ringing and the laundry is living a life of it's own all before I've brushed my teeth. I want most to learn to be still and know...........
post #19 of 36

Freewrite: "To receive is the ultimate giving" -Gangaji

“To receive is the ultimate giving.” -Gangaji

As light cannot exist without darkness and love without hate, giving can't exist without receiving. Have you ever sat in anticipation just after handing someone the perfect gift, something you picked out for them specially, just waiting for the reaction? Waiting for the light to shine in their eyes that says “you know me and you know what I enjoy”? Have you ever happily gave time or money to someone desperately in need? That feeling right there, the feeling of having done, having extended yourself in the direction of another living breathing person, and having that help willingly and lovingly accepted, is one of the things that ties our heart together. Please let me give, let me help.

When my sister-in-law and I were at odds with each other, both being orbited by toddlers and babes, stressed and sleep-starved and stretched to our limits all under one roof, I wanted so much to help and the greatest gift she could have given me would have been to let me. But she was not ready to give what I needed, the receiving of my help.

It can be scary to accept a gift. Why is she offering it? What does she want as she extends this hand toward me, and what is that in her other hand? What power can she hold over me if I accept her help? Will I be indebted to her? How will I know when things are “even”?

Is receiving a gift harder than giving it? Possibly.

In some cultures, among hunter gatherers especially, receiving and giving are what ties various families together. The act of reciprocation forges a trust between the two clans, which can be necessary for the survival of both. Since foraging peoples are often on the move, the giving is actually the preferred part of reciprocating. It lightens the load and keeps the cycle going.

I had offered to get what she needed from the store, which was a half-hour's drive away, several times. There was nothing she ever needed. I had thought I was helping the day I entertained her two-year-old while she spoke long distance uninterrupted for almost an hour, but my play with him was criticized rather than appreciated. There was nothing I could do to give. She was not ready to receive anything.

One day she was getting ready to head off to the store, children bundled up, car warming in the crisp Nevada sunshine, and she asked me if there was anything I needed. It had become a common routine, for either of us to toss the offer over our shoulder and across the room as we guided the little hands to the front door. Realization struck, and I searched my mind. “Fluoride rinse. Could you pick me up some fluoride rinse, please?” And she did. I smiled and thanked her.

I'll never know if any of her offers were from of a place of “now she'll owe me one” but I was ready to give of myself, to trust her intentions by receiving this gift, this offer of help.

Weeks passed yet she was still not ready to receive anything from me, and my offers grew much less frequent. Eventually the wind blew this house of cards over and with pain in my heart and limbs I moved out of state with my family, having never gotten the chance to do any sort of giving.

Years passed and we didn't communicate.

Then one day after the earth moved she was ready to receive a visit from me, to give and receive words, hope, and healing, to reciprocate. We enjoyed the time spent together at her home with coffee and at the river and we understand each other much better now, and perhaps even trust one another.

I send the children gifts and I don't hear back. I tell myself it is just because she is busy. I know she is busy. But these gifts I send, the hello kitty and the drawings and crystals, are they for the children or for me? And why do I still feel empty when I look toward the south?

Are giving and receiving different acts at all?
post #20 of 36

Where Writting Takes Me

Writting takes me places where my soul needs to go. To the WILD west, to the mountains of the Far East, and the serene cliffs of the ocean seas. Waves creashing, seagulls flying, mist spraying, walking and prayiong all at the same timje. Ocean -trees - home, seas. Ocean side. FRESH PURE RE-NEWING, re-awakening, parts of me that are burned and now slowly recovering and buried pieces uncovered by used-up-ness. Rusted, like the worn out bike needed of some good TLC. My wheels battered, my spokes bent, the broken bell and the loose handles of mind. The bars and frames in ok condition. The desperate need to ride upon it becomes greater and the need to survive this becomes the reality. The biker beckons me to dream those busy, worn-out, over used, over loved body machine to death. The tattered low oiled, stcuk in the mud chains, just going in the same direction always. The writting re-news me to be. Just as I am in the moments of mothering, of mama-hood, of surrending to this daughter soul that crys for my breasts, that laughs about the silliness of life, that questions, that begs to be heard and listened to. Writting takes me back. Back to her. To the ocean, the trees, and the wildereness where I need to go to re-new and to re-fresh, the bikes of my mind, the spokes of my soul, the wheels of my body.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Mothers' Writing Group
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Mothers' Writing Group › Thank you and here is your assignment!