I have recently begun working in a lovely cafe in Gawler. I’m not sweeping the floor or making and serving coffee and food, nothing like that. I don’t think that kind of thing would suit me at all well. Instead, I’ve found the perfect job for me.
Once a week, I go to the Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery, and I give a poetry workshop to interested people. There are not huge numbers of people flocking to come and join me, but there is a dedicated group who are thrilled with what we are doing together. We do our poetry exercises, enjoy the artworks and when it’s finished, we have a lovely meal.
My fee is low, the good is very well priced and the feeling about the whole day is beautiful! The Poetry workshop is called ‘Write Yourself Well’. This is a thing that has been proven to help people, writing about their things that are troubling them, or taking up their thoughts, going around and around in their head without any useful resolution. Being able to write about such things in a positive way is healing, because it helps you to put some troubles to rest.
This kind of therapy is used in many places, here is an article talking about it. In the article they mention things that I try to have in my workshops. The ability to just write and write, no need to worry about your spelling or grammar, just getting the words written is all you need to do. And there is no necessity to share your words unless you want to, the words you write are your own words.
The group members have all built a strong bond though, in the short time we’ve been together. Some of them are members of the same church, some are artists who have works hanging in the gallery, but we are all friends, having shared sometimes personal things, all knowing their words are safe, we will not tell their secrets. One of the group members is writing her first book, and another member is helping her with the editing of it. Together we share words and love and hugs, as well as great coffee and lovely food!
We are all human, with partners, family members, health issues, things we worry about, some of which that are fixable, some not so easy to make better. But all of us are writing our words down, creating lovely poetry at times, other times just writing junk that is cluttering up our heads. It doesn’t matter, the creative process of getting it out, writing out the rubbish is all a part of the cleansing process.
I’m also the Writer-in-Residence at this lovely place, and go there another two times every week, where the owners have copies of my books for sale, and I am there ready to talk about writing and other things, to anyone who wishes to talk. Fun, coffee, chocolate brownies and lovely people, what a life!
I have been able to write and publish two books by writing about my health and life issues. The first was my first poetry collection ‘Damaged Children Precious Gems‘. The second was the memoir this blog was written about ‘Mick Jane and Me – Living Well With MS‘. Writing this memoir, and maintaining this blog both help me as I look at my new life since my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010. It’s been a rocky road, but writing about it has been a help with straightening out the bumps!
Working with others, helping them to find their writing selves also helps me to feel like a useful member of society, an good thing to remember when others may deride disabled people as being useless. I am an important member of society and I am proud of all of the good things I do!