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The Feedback Forum

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Please read the entire Week 4 post regarding feedback before posting here.

Here is what I specifically say about Feedback in the Week 4 post:

First and most importantly, there is one key rule about the feedback game. In order to play you have to ask yourself one question: what kind of feedback am I looking for? This is where you get to be brutally honest with yourself and with us about what you seek.

Feedback is give and take. It is a dialogue that deserves attention and nurturing. Giving feedback takes time and energy, receiving feedback requires openness and courage. Feedback should, at its very core, seek to build a person up not tear them down. It can be tricky for both people.

I hate asking for feedback and only getting “it was good” comments. Those kinds of comments do nothing for a writer and require little of the person giving feedback. Real feedback means two people are engaging in an open dialogue about a piece of work in an effort to make that particular work the best it can possibly be.

The way I see it, there are four kinds of feedback: technical (for grammar or technical issues); clarification (feedback that checks for fluidity and reader understanding); praying-to-the-writing-gods (cause we all need divine inspiration sometimes); and, my sometimes-favorite: needing-some-lovin’ (feedback for the insecure or pat-on-the-back feedback).

Asking for feedback means you are ready to risk putting yourself out therefor the world to comment on what you have to say. It also means you know you can take or leave any comment that comes your way. You are by no means obligated to use what someone has suggested, but in the asking you open yourself up to the considering.

Giving feedback requires honesty and compassion. Let us be forthright but empathetic, helpful and loving, gentle but direct. Above all, own your opinions and celebrate the writer within us all.

If you’d like to ask for feedback, post a reply to this message. The subject of your post should ask for the kind of feedback you are seeking: technical, clarity, praying to the writing gods, or needin’-some-lovin’. Cut-and-paste passages you need help with, or post entire sections of your work. Respondents will then address your work. Remember, this is a dialogue. Let’s be specific about what we like or think needs work. Pay attention to physical reactions and emotional responses. Be honest and compassionate.
post #2 of 66

Feedback request

I would just like to ask for feedback on my writing. As far as I'm concerned, anything I've written is up for grabs. I'm just interested in becoming a better writer and writing things that are easy to read and that evoke feeling of some sort in the reader. Of course I'm also interested in the "needin some loving" variety of feedback!
Thanks!
post #3 of 66
Thread Starter 
Yay! A brave volunteer! Good for you for putting yourself out there. I would encourage you to put the passages or selections you'd like feedback on as a reply to this thread so that your readers will have a focus for their feedback. Also, what kind of feedback do you seek? I think it's helpful to narrow that down for us as we embark on reading other's work with a critical eye, and it means you have ownership over what you are asking and getting.

I'm proud of you. Thanks for being here!

Jesse
post #4 of 66

clarification and needin' some lovin'

I like this piece, so i don't want it completely ripped apart, but i would like to hear specific feedback on aspects that work and why or what might be developed or reworked, what you can relate to it, etc. I guess i want some 'pointing' and suggestions. It's in freewrite style, so i'm trying to figure out how to work it into a larger piece in my story.


onesie freewrite
A beautiful little pink, worn onesie. Packed and repacked in my hospital bag. As other things are taken out, replaced with something else, deemed unnecessary, that gets unfolded, held, touched, fondled, refolded and repacked carefully. it is the smallest of the baby clothes i have, handed down from my baby's cousin, washed and worn and shrunk and soft. it seems to breathe love, care, tiny but worn, familiar. it gives me hope that i can do this. not like the other clothes--new, crisp, too clean, tags intact, threatening, like blank canvases waiting to be imprinted with my mistakes. this one, this feels better. like shared mother-knowledge, a gift from others who have come before, learned, loved. they will be with me, but the onesie is mine now to dress the baby in alone. my baby. i am overdue, and everyone says my baby will be big. i am big, heavy, tired with waiting. the onesie looks small, too small, too pink for an unknown gender. my feminist instincts lose courage--will i want to put a little boy in pink? will others laugh, judge, think i am a bad mother? i pack other pieces, soft greens, blues, yellows. but the pink stays. i know i will love it the most. as i love this baby. the most. more than all others come before, lost before, to other mothers. more than myself. more than him. a love that grows and grows, feeding on itself, tossing aside remnants of old lives. this baby will soon outgrow this onesie. and perhaps my love? maybe it will never fit. i pack it anyway. when she comes, i slide her carefully into it. a perfect fit.
post #5 of 66
Oh...that was so beautiful! I know you are seeking critique, but I think that the flow and emotion of your onsie writing is perfect. I guess I'm partial though, since I felt much of the same emotions waiting for my baby and taking out and folding away a particular onsie. Like that little onsie, I think this piece is a "perfect fit." By the way, that was a great ending.
You can read my onsied freewrite on the freewrite thread if you'd like.
blessings,
Simcha
post #6 of 66
HI. I would love some "needing some loving" feedback. I've been writing each week so you'll find my writing on the past threads. Below is my most recent addition. Also, if you find something that needs clarifying or something else you notice, please let me know. However, my main need is the lovin'
Thank you!
Simcha

Turning Points

I had been pushing for about 5 hours...so I guess it was about 3 in the morning at that point. The vastness of that night is beyond measure. My small house trying to contain all the energy of a laboring mama...me. I was exhausted, yet with each contraction pushed with so much might. My man and my midwives encouraged me to stand and walk as perhaps that might aid my pushes and bring this baby down and out. "How about walking outside" they suggested. The eternity between the bedroom and the sliding glass doors...I could not fathom the long journey. So I stood and hung from my man's shoulders. That pressure...the most incredible, intense, un-explainable force surging through me. I could barely handle it. Yet I did, for hours more. I stood when I could, and even braved a shower on my own. My babe's head pressing against my inner most being for hours and hours and hours...that was a turning point. Struggling with that pressure,trying to work with it, to bring this baby out was intensely challenging.
Yet, she was not born...not yet. I asked my man the time, he told me "4 and some change" (though after the birth he admitted it was 3 minutes to 5). Another turing point in my labor. Though there were few to no thoughts outside of labor, I was able to do the math... I had been pushing for 7 hours. Another turning point. Why was she not here yet? What was hindering her descent? Desperation and exhaustion led me to the tub once more. It was there that one of my midwives told me that the heart beat was starting to be off and that we really should go to the hospital birth center. I knew that we had to go at that point...for my baby. Yet the despair of leaving home and the birth I had envisioned left me feeling so dissapointed, worn out...Actually there aren't even words for those few moments of time. The realization that the dream was not to be. Getting out of the tub, into some pants, slippers, a robe. Unable to talk to any of my beloved birth team. Beyond tears.
Out the door into the pre-dawn morning. Pausing for contractions. The car ride, surreal...the midwife's car ahead, her rear lights, gleaming red in the darkness. Pushing in the front seat. Drenching my pants, pee, amniotic fluid. And pulling up to the hospital. Turning point? Yes, in a most profound way.
post #7 of 66
Nntalamu,
I truly enjoyed reading your anticipation freewrite. YOu write with a beautiful, bittersweet clarity. From your descriptions I can almost feel your emotions. I like how you meld beauty and bliss with bits of sadness, and sometimes guilt. This makes your writing that much more real. Plus I am intrigued by your ability to parent 4 children on your own. Yea mama! I hope that you do have a strong support network. Lastly, I loved the part of your essay where you wrote about waiting to hear each of your babe's cries and seeing the looks on your older children's faces when they met their new siblings. Precious.
blessings,
Simcha
post #8 of 66

Feedback for Simcha

Simcha,
Your piece really speaks to me, because I had such disappointment in my labor and had to let go of my dreams of a great birth, slowly and painfully. What I like about the piece is the way you communicate several turning points, and several painful extensions--when you thought you couldn't go anymore, and you did, because you had to. The ongoing torture. The need to reach deeper. An image that I'd point to is that of you leaning on your man and the pressure...I can feel it, almost. God, that pressure. I remember it! It's amazing any of us get through birth.
post #9 of 66
Hi. Thanks for the feedback on the "Turning Points" piece. I appriciate your words!

I would like feedback on these two pieces if anyone has time. I am "needing some lovin" and would also like some pointers on how to better organize the flow of the "Doctor" piece. I think there is some obvious dissapointment and bitterness about the incidences I wrote about, so my flow is not so smooth, so to speak. So, any gentle critique would be helpful...and the loving and relating is very helpful too.

Thank you!



Anticipation is the real kicker of pregnancy. I anticipated so much, and was both rewarded and deeply dissapointed. I had magical dreams, and long sweet days of pregnancy. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl who is the light of my life, and yet her birth was far from what I had anticipated. I assume we will write about birth stories in teh future, so I will save the details for then. However, I will say....
I had amazingly vivid dreams of birthing a baby girl. In each of my birth dreams I was alone with a helper nearby. While they took place in various settiings each was similar in that I calmly pushed her out and watched her emerge from my yoni. As soon as she was born I would bring her up to my chest and marvel at her. The birth always went so smoothly. I feel that through my work as a doula and midwifery student, and my time spent at births, and my general attitude about birth, that that I could absolutley have a smooth labor and birth at home. When after two nights of contractions, a full 22 hours of active labor, and 7 hours of pushing at home we transported to the local hospital birth center where I pushed out my baby three hours later with the help of a vacum, I was shocked by this very different outcome. This was deeply dissapointing as she was not only not born at home, but I was exhausted and didin't watch her birth as I wanted, I was surrounded by nurses and protocol, her cord was cut immediatly and before I could see her she was whisked to a warming table for respiratory work. Not the begining I envisioned for my most precious babe. (Well...I guess I did go into it a little...I hope you will all read my birth story in its entirety when I write it later). So while some of anticipations about labor where lived...time in the birth time, being in the comfort of my home, having my loved ones with me, many where not. I've learned that it is quite hard to let go of expectations!
On a brighter note, let me say that the last few weeks of pregnancy were sweet even with the waiting. Amaya Madrone was 16 days past her due date. We spent lots of time at the beach and I would talk to the ocean and feel the tides, my man and I snuggled at home, watched movies, took walks, ate good food. I took naps and slept in (remember that?!) We even collected maple seeds one day while taking a walk to start labor going...they are now sprouting into little trees. Each day was one day closer to meeting our baby, and at the same time one last day of autonomy and couple hood. A truly special time in my life.

4/6/05
I wanted to add something about "anticipation." While I anticipated that having a baby would bring joy and beauty into my life I could never have imagined the immense LOVE I have for this sweet daughter of mine. I love her throughly, with the essence of my being. She lived in the innermost part of my body (inside an organ...how much more in can one go?), and now the love I feel for her permeates every inch of my being, and somehow continues to grow as she and I spend each day together. There is no way to anticipate this magical mama/baby love.




“Doctor:”
She walked in the door of that room, with the door open, covered only by a curtain...for "privacy"...and announced, after briefly looking at me and acessing "the situation" that I would probably have a c-section and that I could not drink any more fluids. This after 18+ hours of labor and 7 hours of pushing at home. This after the hugely dissapointing departure from my home. This cold statement after I had been working with all my might to bring my baby into this world...into the light. I, though exhausted, knew I would not submit! Not to this woman or her c-section that she I needed since I had been pushing so long. No! I looked to my man and saw the deep worry in his face...the dispair. I looked at the nurse next to me, a woman I knew and trusted as she had previously been a midwife. I looked at her and she leaned close to me and whispered in my ear, "I know you can do this. I know you can push this baby out." Thank you Joanne. Thank you! I ignored that doctor, though I did not drink any water, and endured terrible reflux burning my throat as I pushed for 3 more hours. And yes...I did push my daughter out...not into the peaceful hands of my midwife in the comfort of my home...but, I did give her a natural birth. At least there was the relief that I gave her that...and did not submit to the ideas of that doctor.
(I am adding to this story a couple weeks later....)
Yet I wonder sometimes, of what I did allow once in the hospital in a state of such exhaustion. The other doctor, the more compassionate of the two, she suggested using the vacum. So, for the last half hour or so (I'm supposing here, as time was unmeasurable at that point) a hand controlled vacum was aplied to my baby's head. I could not see this, as I couldn't see the mirror, and was on my back of all places! Words did not come to me to ask for the mirror to be angled better...and I still feel regret over this. Missing the visual aspect of my daughter's birth. Sigh. So, with the mightyest (how the heck do you spell that?) of pushes, and the help (or hinderence?) of the vacum, I pushed my daughter out. Does this still count as natural? Perhaps not entirely...but unmedicated, yes! Dedicated? Absolutley!
Mother's day was the other day and at the end of the day I was feeling sad about Amaya's birth. I constantly try to remind myself that her birth occured as it did for a reason. I did re-write my birth story on my own recently...and focused on the more empowering aspects. I also must remind myself that I am strong and gave all of myself in my labor. I worked with all my energy to bring my daughter into this world and she is healthy and beautiful. Wow...I am really rambling now...so I'll end for now.
post #10 of 66

I want this one to be perfect...

Hey all...and thank you so much Simcha for your kind words!
This particular piece is one that is very important for me as it is the moment that my life changed and I became a single mother. I really really want this one to be perfect, so I would appreciate your feedback. But please please please be kind as this one was so hard for me to write...even though it happened a while back the emotions are still very sensitive!
Thanks!


David leaves


This is it. This is the moment. I have known for days that it was coming but I have not known how to prepare how to steel myself against the inevitable pain. His eyes are glazed over empty and cold. He is already gone even though he is standing here in front of me looking at me as if he doesn’t know who I am. His wedding ring that he took off and gave to me weeks before is cold and hard in my pocket and my hand is shaking as I wrap my fingers around it and pull it from its hiding place. I hold onto it as though it is a talisman. I put my arms around him hug him and he stands unmoving like a piece of stone. This man that I pledged my life to several years ago who was once so full of life is now just a shell of lost promises lost dreams. And I am broken. Deep in my belly the babies are rolling tumbling fidgeting as though they know all that I know; as though they can feel the coldness of my pain. I step back from my husband and find solace in my sister’s arms. My family forms a circle around David and offers up a prayer for his safe journey while he stares straight ahead unseeing. I try to hold it in but the sobs escape from me primal and loud and frightening. My sweet little girl places her skinny arms around her daddy’s waist buries her face in his stomach for a split second. And then she is gone into the other room hiding not wanting to see him walk out the door. My baby boy knows something is terribly wrong even though he can’t comprehend what it is. He clasps his chubby fingers together behind his daddy’s neck and buries his tiny nose in daddy’s shirt and refuses to let go. He cries and we have to pry him away from the man who has held him and loved him and cared for him and who isn’t capable of doing any of those things anymore. I see a flicker of pain cross my husband’s face but just as quickly as it was there it is gone and I see nothing. It is time. He follows his brother out the door and he doesn’t look back. I watch his retreating back and shoulders and I want to shout “STOP!” But I am quiet.

It seems like it has been mere moments but in reality it has been more like an hour and I find myself sitting in my favorite chair in the living room. How did I get here? What is time anyway? Why do we chart the pains and agonies of our lives in minutes and hours when those things know no time? I am staring up at the ceiling as though I can see through all the sheetrock the wood the shingles out into the bright blue blue sky under which my husband is driving farther and farther away from me.
post #11 of 66
nntalamu,
the david leaves piece is perfect thus far, i would love to read the rest of the story. i want to know why he's leaving. my heart breaks reading the story.it has a strong, emotionally charged beginning...great!
simcha,
I think that the obvious bitterness about the doc and hospital is necessary, and should be acknowledged, examined and thoroughly written out...even if some of it is cut later, it is an important part of your story. More imagery could be given to the dr. piece. and you could parallel this to a midwife section of your story. i have similar issues to work out. i would not use the diminuitive "at least" in the part at least i did give her that--or anywhere in your story, no apologies...there is nothing diminuitive about your story. you are a warrior! what you went through is triumph! you actively birthed your baby! you chose a home birth. your intention was clear in your conscious and subconscious.

when we are in a hospital, our control is taken away. what could you possibly have allowed or not allowed? the doctor made it a crisis situation, took absolute control and played GOD. maybe the reason for what happened is so that when you are a midwife you can stand up to the doctor playing god with the first time mom who gets transported to the birth center, and make sure that she touches her baby's head, holds the baby while the chord is still pulsating, and nurses her baby while she delivers her beautiful placenta, and that she gets to SEE her placenta...it makes me so MAD! what these f****in' hospitals and doctors take away from mother's birth experiences.
post #12 of 66
Jessica...Thank you. I have tears in my eyes. You are right, I should not be apologizig. I think that I will try to write a midwife addtion as my midwives were so wonderful and patient. To redeem one of the doctors a little, she did apologize when she had to cut the cord immediatly...I guess she felt that Amaya needed some respitory work that couldn't be done on my belly (why?! It seems that mama is the best place for a transitioning baby to be...). And yes, others have also said that perhaps my experience will help me be a better midwife or educator.
Nnatamlu (did I spell that right?)
Your story is sadly beautiful. I was teary reading your children's reactions to their father leaving. You capture your emotions in words very clearly. And, I definitly relate to the non-existance of time when lost in emotion. I too am curious about this story, and why your husband left. Perhaps you could tell that part of the story, or if it is too personal, then don't. You are a strong woman!
Blessings to both of you.
post #13 of 66

Here it is...

Several of you had asked for clarification on why my husband was leaving in my previous post here. I had written this story about moving in with my parents and posted it in my portfolio, but wanted to post it here as well. I wanted to see if it fits together well with the story of David leaving...if it explains enough without explaining too much...etc. Let me know what you all think...if this works or not.
Thanks so much for all of your kind words!

Moving in With Mom & Dad


I am standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. From here I can see the empty kitchen empty living room empty dining room doors that lead to empty bedrooms. We have only lived here for one year and most of that time I have felt as though trapped in the claws of a nightmare. If I concentrate on remembering I can close my eyes and see good memories. I can see my little boy walk for the first time across the living room floor in front of the big window his steps wobbly and unsure the sun shining in on his dark curls. I can see my daughter holding a wiggly spotted puppy on Christmas morning her hair in her face and sleep and a smile in her eyes. But my husband’s illness and his unwillingness to deal with it have taken over our lives. There are moments days weeks when I am screaming wondering why no one can hear me realizing it is only in my head. I am a mother of two…I have two more on the way…I am almost thirty…I don’t want to move back in with my parents. But I have no choice. My husband has quit his job and spends endless hours staring at a TV with no sound; endless hours telling me that I don’t love him that I never loved him that my family is out to get him. The rooms in front of me around me are beginning to swim in tears. I steady myself with my hand on the wall as the sobs shake me hold me consume me. I take the few steps to the kitchen door and step out into the sun. The brightness mixes with the tears in my eyes and the world is a fog. I think it is fitting that as I close and lock this door for the last time that I cannot see the rooms I am locking inside. Now I will go to the car where my children and husband wait and I will drive them to our new home in the basement of my parent’s house. There I am sure he will find another TV to stare at for hours on end until the day comes that I am ready to let him go.
post #14 of 66
On a brighter note, let me say that the last few weeks of pregnancy were sweet even with the waiting. Amaya Madrone was 16 days past her due date. We spent lots of time at the beach and I would talk to the ocean and feel the tides, my man and I snuggled at home, watched movies, took walks, ate good food. I took naps and slept in (remember that?!) We even collected maple seeds one day while taking a walk to start labor going...they are now sprouting into little trees. Each day was one day closer to meeting our baby, and at the same time one last day of autonomy and couple hood. A truly special time in my life.

Simcha...I absolutely love this and the images it puts into my head and the feelings it evokes in me...especially the part about the maple seeds sprouting into trees. How very special. Sounds like you have wonderful memories about the days before your little one was born.
I've enjoyed reading everything that you've written, and I have felt with you and for you as I read the story of your daughter's birth and your disappointment over not being able to have the birth that you wanted.
Blessings,
Nora
post #15 of 66
Nora,
Thank you for writing more about your husband's departure from your family. I hope that writing is helping you to move through this experience and helping you to heal. I have discovered that writing is truly healing for me,especially when I just let go and allow myslef to write freely. Sometimes I babble on, but regardless putting my feelings down on paper seems to help. You express your emotions beautifully in writing. I hope that you are doing well and that your children are flourishing. How old are they? Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking. It's curious for me to be in this online writing group. I have never "met" people this way,and have truly enjoyed reading your and other mama's writing through this group. I am in Northern California, in a town called Arcata. We have a website that is slowly coming together. The pictures are too small right now, but feel free to check it out if you (or anyone else reading this) would like to.
http://www.reninet.com/~ward/
Blessings,
Simcha
post #16 of 66
Simcha, writing has definitely been my salvation recently. If I wasn't able to get down all of these feelings and emotions on paper I might go crazy! My four kids are as follows: Abby, just turned 9 yesterday; Maxwell, 2 years old; and my twins Malaika and Isaiah will be 7 months old on the 29th. They are all four thriving and growing. This whole thing has been hardest on Abby as she is old enough to remember...she remembers what her dad was like before he got sick and she misses him dreadfully. She is also having a hard time dealing with the fact that she will never see him again. He has returned to his home in another country and has severed all ties with us. I live in Jefferson City, Missouri a small town in the heart of the midwest. I have lived here my whole life and am surrounded by my family...thank goodness!
I too find it "strange" to be forming connections with people over the internet that I have never met before. But I am also finding it remarkably healing to read the stories that all of the mamas have written. Even though we do not know each other we all have such an amazing connection in motherhood.
Thanks so much for all of your kind words. I am so glad that my writing is speaking to other people!
By the way, I checked out your website and little Amaya is beautiful!
Blessings,
Nora
post #17 of 66
So, the piece below is on the topic of abundance. It's an area I'm trying to change my perspective on, especially with the last year of with with young kids it's hard to look at an abundance of anything sometimes...so instead of putting the piece in a I/me sort of setting, I did more of a short story type piece.

As to the category of feedback I'm looking for... I haven't written much of anything for years. So, in regards of feedback, I'm looking for pairings of positive and critical feedback. I'd like to know one item that is 'good' with the piece below, and one item that needs improvement in the piece below. It can be grammatical, technical, flow, writing style... whatever. I probably need feedback on any and all areas. I just need feedback since it's been forever that I've written.

My main request is just if you give one piece of positive feedback, there is one critical piece of feedback. If ya give 2 pieces of positive feedback, there are two piece of critical feedback. If you get through reading all of this, thanks!!


Abundance

They sat down at the bus stop. Three hours later, they were still sitting at the bus stop.

A soot-covered bus would roll up, and pause long enough for passengers to scurry out and other to scurry in. Over the span of ten minutes, people would begin to gather again, and the scene would replay. Roll to a stop, scurry in, scurry out. Jason was sure all the scurrying amounted to people trying to leave their day behind and get home to dinner, something he wanted to do. His stomach was grumbling loudly. It was loud enough, that it had caused one suited man to cast a glance his way thirty minutes ago after one particularly loud growl.

“Mammy, this is ridicu…”, he started again for the umpteenth time.

“Hush! I told you that already, boy. Just watch.”. His grandma stopped him short yet again.

In reality it was a funny scene. If he wasn’t so starved, he’d have appreciated the humor. It had been well over twelve hours since he’d eaten, though. Breakfast was large. His mammy had made one of those large southern breakfasts she was renowned for. Biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, grits… his mouth watered just remembering. He’d gotten busy, though, during the day… he’d raced from his morning class after early release to go hang out with his friends. When he arrived home, his Mammy was dicing some yellow onions. That’s when she asked him if he’d sent in his college forms yet. While he had meant to, he told Mammy he hadn’t had time to fill them out, and he’d do it tonight. Mammy stopped chopping mid-chop, went to the closet to grab her worn gray woolen coat and told Jason he was coming with her. Ten minutes later they’d arrived at the bus stop and been there ever since.

A six foot, long, lanky teenager, and an 80 year old woman a tad under five feet, who would interrupt Jason to snap a command like a drill seargent. If his friends could see it, Jason knew he’d never hear the end of it. They didn’t know his Mammy, though. She was sharp witted, stubborn, and no-one went against her. Plus, for all the teenage bravado he could have mustered, she had taken him in five years ago when noone else would, and he wasn’t going to sass back too much.

“We’re done.” Mammy announced as she got up to leave.

She bundled the jacket around her tighter as she left the shelter of the bus stop. “Don’t ever tell me you don’t have time.”

“Don’t have time? That’s what this was about?” While Jason generally kept a level head, he occasionally snapped. This was one of those occasions.

“You brought me out here to sit at a bus stop for over three hours?? Time I could have used to fill out those forms. Of course, I’m not going to have time when you come up with senile ideas like that. I’m outta here. What a waste.”, Jason turned.

Mammy scoffed, and grabbed his arm. “A waste? I gave you the greatest lesson you’ll ever learn. Use your eyes. What did you see?”

Her eyes locked on his. “All those people you saw, they have it wrong. They’ve heard that time is a terrible thing to waste. They are racing from their jobs, to the bus, to their homes. They are racing to eat, they are racing to tuck their kids in. They are racing to sleep, racing to shower, racing to start it all over. They are so intent on scurrying like rates in a maze, that they don’t even notice they are racing. Those people are so focused on time, they don’t realize they are wasting it, simply by trying not to waste it.”.

Mammy shook her head in disgust, and started walking back home.

“Don’t you get it?”, she continued, “We have an abundance of time. We have this second. We have the next second, and the next, and the next. Sure, the next second might be taken away, but it might not be. Each second we have allows us an abundance of options, chances, and restarts in our lives. There is always time. It’s just that you chose to do something else with your moment.”

Mammy paused to pull her hood up, and looked up at Jason again.

“When you told me you didn’t have time, you were simply making an excuse for your choices. Take accountability for yourself, you’re almost a man! You may be busy, but you always have this moment. You may be busy, but you have a moment down the road. Change your perspective, and get out of the mindset that you don’t have time. You do. You’ve been gifted with an abundance of it.”

Mammy took her moment, and chose to go back to the apartment to finish dinner.
post #18 of 66
My printer is on the fritz, so when i figure out how to fix it i plan on printing out all of these lovely words so i can read them easier, and give my feedback. There are so many talented people here and i feel blessed to be graced with the oppurtunity to read what you'all have written..

I've written two pieces on abundance that explore two different sides. I am a single mother (complicated) and these essays depict both of my lives ...with kids and without kids...

I hope you enjoy , and i am up for honest feedback about anything. I'm trying to improve my writing, so i won't get offended if there is ~constructive~ critisism :


IMAGINATION

Reaching into my purse, i find a crumpled ten dollar bill. Smoothing it on the counter, i have enough to get a coffee, and scones for the children.

We sit at a table in the corner. Son, with nose buried in his book. Daughter, going back and forth between the table and the toy corner.

I stare out of the window over the steam of the hot , black coffee. She brings over the tea set and pours me a cup of magic , invisible hot chocolate. I drink it in one audible 'gulp' , she pours some more. Forgetting my coffee, i drink cup after cup of her special blend.

Happily, she goes to the play kitchen to make me some more. Getting distracted by the imaginary pots and pans, she makes us some pancakes. These i devour as she smiles proudly.

I sip my coffee as i watch her in the work of her play. My son is still devouring his book, eyes turned down, so i eat his pancakes.

I revell in the abundance of her imagination as she lives in the present moment, flitting from one scenario to another.
I only hope that as she grows up, the capacity for new ideas never perishes.




BLUE EYES



Wet hair , flipping this way and that, strings into my eyes as i reach down to retrieve the black pen whose ink flows dark and smooth across the pages.
Thinking about abundance and its meaning to me, i recross my legs as i sip my coffee.

Blue eyes , peering down through the cloudy lenses of my glasses cause the dark rimmed specs to ride down my nose. I push them up with my finger.

My children are with their father as i have to work today, i anxiously await the moment when we can meet eyes and arms once again.
I remove my glasses to wipe them clean against my skirt, only to smudge them even worse, oh well, i put them back on .

Jerry (the coffee guy) refills my cup once again as i fill the blank, lined pages. Work begins in another hour, i think, as i pause between words to once again consider abundance.

The children spent the night at their 'other' house last night. Right now, abundance could mean time spent alone. No, that doesn't feel right.

Last night after i dropped them off, i looked around at the cluttered tabletops and felt uninspires to straighten up. I paced from the living room back into the kitchen.

I opened the refrigerator, which was teeming with fresh vegetables that needed to be cooked , i looked away and closed the door to once again walk from room to room. Not knowing what to do, i made my way back to the front of the fridge and took out a frozen dinner. As it cooked, i decided to read, but my eyes never penetrated the printed pages , i read the same paragraph over and over again. I dogeared the page and dropped the book on the chairside table.

If this is abundance (of time) i will never get used to it. I think of my 5 year old, crying for her mommy to tuck her in , and my 10 year old stoicly following his father from room to room.

I had to go back to work. Single parenthood has opened up the hours that i have to reflect upon the ending of my marriage.
Tears flow, making damp paths down my cheeks ending in the corners of my mouth. I quickly wipe them with a napkin and attempt to write myself out of this endless pain.

Once again i wipe my glasses, this time with the napkin. They clear as my eyes shine through, pink and brimming over with tears.

At least i work only part time, i try to be positive in my thoughts. I miss them so much that my whole body aches.

The tightening in my chest must represent the painfull aspect of love... Oh,That must be where the abundance lies.

In the longing.....
post #19 of 66
O.K. I'm trying to get up the nerve to post a story i'm working on , that is really dark , about postpartum depression. The character is tottaly fictional i relate to the PPD, but not her actions....Curious??

Before i post it, i need gentle but honest feedback. whether or not it makes sense and most of all for you all to know that it is completely fictional.

I'm a slow typer, and its getting late , so i will post it tommorow. (this is my disclaimer)
post #20 of 66

Mother Guilt: Feedback for beloved K

MOTHER GUILT

Where does frustration lie?
Is it upstairs lying in his room,
or under my thick hair?

Where does regret lie?
does it lie on his bed, wishing to die,
or in my unspoken words?

Where does attonement lie?
does it continue telling untruths,
or do i lie to myself?

Where am i?
am i upstairs with him,
or downstairs in my seperate heart?

Our hearts used to beat inches apart
our blood mingled while he lived in my belly

This whole poem resonates with me until:

now he is upstairs, contemplating leaving
while i sit down here writing


I think it should end after "belly" or go some more with it in that direction...what i like most about this poem is the feeling of connectedness that i get...i love the use of questions at the beginning of each stanza.And maybe that's why the flow stops at that second to last stanza because they are the only two that you didn't start with a question. In some ways it reminds me of Langston Hughes' Harlem (A Dream Deferred) I was just reading Hughes' poem this morning. Here it is:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it drup up
lik a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore
and then run?
Does is stink like rotten meat?
or crust and sugar over
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
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