Last fall I attended a 5 day writing retreat with a favorite author of mine, Paula D’Arcy. (read her books, please) One of the ways she helped us find our own words was to show us this documentary called, What I Want My Words To Do To You. It was an amazing example of writing used as therapy and a way to form community. These women in a correctional facility found words for their stories and received healing from the experience. After the viewing, Paula had us do a writing exercise to help us find our own words. We were to let the words flow and write without stopping. Here are my words from that day.
My words surprise even me. I know they are there, I feel them churning. When will they emerge? My words are the real me. They tell my story. They connect my story to yours. My words are honest. They go places that I fear. They bring forth questions and very few answers. They are always there but I am often too tired, too lazy, too afraid to see them. I know they will change me. I know they will shed light in dark places.
Do my words matter?
If you see and feel my words, then you are faced with who I really am. Questions form. Question the questions.
My words are in constant revision, even before they hit the page. My life is in constant revision. I see the same things over and over, but always with new eyes.
Please take the time to watch the trailer from the documentary. Whether you are a writer or not, I highly recommend watching the entire movie. The power of words will amaze you.