Giving the Wound Air: Expressing the Inexpressible In Your Own Words
With Susan Musgrave
May 12 - 17, 2024
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional,” – attributed to the Dalai Lama
It is hard work, when we are grieving, not to suffer; suffering — personal and universal — has become a condition of how we live.
Yet we are bereft of time to grieve. Writing, especially poetry, fiction, journaling and memoir, has always been a place where we can count on being allowed to feel, in physical, emotional and spiritual ways, our connection to loss.
What can we do with this immense reservoir of feeling that can so easily overwhelm? Learn to write clearly and honestly about what hurts, from that part of your heart where regret and grief and yearning lie waiting for a salve. This will connect you with others who are fighting battles of their own. When we share our pain, our loss, with others, we see we are not alone, but in heartfelt and validating company.
“An eye and heart opener for me was in understanding permission to be real, to be myself, without self-editing everything — I see how I was holding back from fear of being seen. Thank you, Susan– for alighting that path of speaking to real heart, real soul, from the beginning– that’s been a remarkable lesson.” – PJ, Past participant
In this interactive workshop, use readings and exercises to delve into your own grief journey through whatever medium you choose. We will write, and share our work, when we are ready, with other participants in a brave, non-judgmental space. No writing experience required. Every time I sit down to write, I am a beginner.
Margaret Atwood has said all writing is an attempt to bring back the dead. To journey into the past and bring back what is vanished. If we can’t bring our beloved ones back physically, we can do it in our own words, one truthful word at a time.
You can Expect to Learn
- That there are a hundred ways for rain to fall and a hundred ways to watch it
- That your life matters
- That there is always a place for humour, even when you can’t find anything to laugh about. Example: “This may sound silly, but I’m not here” — Marlon Brando’s answering machine (Brando died in 2004)
- As a writer you are bound by the rule that difficulty of expression is no excuse for not expressing. Poetry expresses what cannot be said in words.
- That there are no rules, only effects.
A detailed schedule will be available at least 2 weeks in advance of the program. View sample schedule here.
Grief is the willingness to be claimed by a story bigger than ourselves. Susan Musgrave’s most recent book of poetry, Exculpatory Lilies, is her response to the death of her partner, Stephen Reid, in 2018, and their daughter, Sophie, in September 2021, of an accidental overdose of Fentanyl and Benzos.…
Learn more about Susan Musgrave