Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all your
That I may wrap them
in a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too rough fingers
Of the world.
Here we were, all seven of us, tucked away in a basement apartment in Toronto.
Here we were, all grown adults, carving out space in our day to write and dream and expel thoughts onto the paper without being judged or criticized.
Welcome to my writing class; my safe space; my playground.
I remember walking out of my first class and feeling like a little crack in my mind had opened and for the first time in so long I could see the sun. It was like this moment last summer when I was fussing with my windows in my car trying to get them open just the right amount when I looked up and realized that I had a sunroof. Writing opened that sunroof I had failed to notice. And Oh Mama did a lot come through that hole! At first it was just a beautiful beam of light shining through the window but then things started to get messy. The more I wrote and the deeper my pen scratched into the paper the less light shone through. I wasn't outdoors anymore flying down the highway in the summer, I was trapped in the carwash with all my windows open. What followed was a shit show of waterworks and rainbow colours of confusement. It was everything I did not want and did not want others to see. I wanted to patch the crack and get the hell out of the carwash.
I did not want to crack. No one wants to crack. And if you do crack you want to crack alone on the floor of your closet hiding behind god-awful dresses you will never wear.
But that's what happens when you find safe places that crack you open. You crack. And not a neat Jamie Oliver one-handed egg crack. No. More similar to a messy five year-old two handed egg-slam with shell and yolk all over the floor crack.
I rarely give myself permission to sit down and write whatever I want to write about, but in this class, giving yourself permission to write wasn't a luxury, it was a requirement. For two hours, my pen ran across the lines of the paper and my mind went to places and memories I had long forgotten. The goal of the writing wasn't to create amazing pieces or squeaky clean grammatically correct paragraphs. The goal was to move your pen across the paper. Afterwards, we would share what we wrote with the group. I still remember the pieces some of the woman read out loud and how their writing shook me with their humour and with their sorrow. I remember thinking how important it is to have a space to nurture the tender longings of your heart. A room where woman hold space for you as you speak and where the little seeds of what you are trying to grow are not tortured by words of discouragement.
Because our longings are tender and we all need that space that acts as an incubator. A place where the tap in our minds can run without strangers coming by and turning it off. A place where we are granted the permission to just play. A place where we don't have to apologize for coming undone.
Sometimes I think about that class and all that spilled into that sunroof. The beautiful and the messy. The sacred and the shitty. I think of the necessity of opening myself up little bit, especially on days when there is no sun in sight. That class taught me the importance of opening the crack and letting whatever comes, be it sun or soap, into the room without following it with a string of apologies. The crack needs to be opened, and opened wide if willing, but only in the presence of people who get it who relentlessly hold that space for you without judgement.