Last Saturday’s workshop was a privilege. After a gruelling week with not such brilliant sleep (during the week) I thought I might be running on empty by Saturday afternoon. However I did sleep reasonably well the night before. On the day, it was cloudy with breaks of sunshine and a peculiar curving wind. I was calmly excited with anticipation for the workshop.
In terms of numbers it was modest and this did allow for more in-depth interaction and openness amongst the participants. The group was bold, generous and authentic, in fact even nurturing towards each other. My beloved Abhi participated too on this occasion, which was very useful in receiving a no holds barred critique afterwards. His comments were wholly positive.
Carl’s writing exercise is quite powerful. He takes you back to a significant turning point in your life making it vivid through his prompts – the use of senses, the time of year and day and so on. The group were scattered across the room busy writing: some on chairs, others laying on the floor or perched on the steps. Afterwards we sat in a circle and each shared an extract with the group. Here’s one from the session – an imagined letter to a father:
2007. December, Boxing Day.
You’re in India.
We’ve had dinner. Eastenders is on in the background. Half-heartedly we’re watching.
I had planned it this way, as you were away, so that I had mum to myself.
In theory, the plan was to tell her, and then you.
She thought I was joking…that it was an excuse not to get married.
“No, I’m gay!”
Apparently she was clueless. But what about mums knowing their sons and all that? What about the Gay Times incident at 16…?
Arena workshop participant – 22 June 2013.
Do you have a turning point to share?