• The Hope Cafe Wednesday 8th of July

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    Second session in Mandy’s Place at The Hope Cafe!

     

    A small group of us met this week and we had a very frank, open and meaningful reading and writing session. We started with The Voyeur, by Tom Leonard, which is all about the word ‘wee’.

    It starts:

    ‘What’s your favourite word dearie

     is it wee,

    I hope it’s wee…’ 

    from  Tom’s book, Outside the Narrative which I recommend. It’s a very interesting collection of works for those of us who feel like “foreigners on their native soil.”

    A suggested prompt to write from this was: What are your favourite words?

    We made lists and some amazing stuff came out.

    Then we read William Stafford’s poems,  ‘Ask me’ and ‘The Way it is’. 

    We wrote from the prompt: Ask me… and got some strong responses with this.

    From strength to strength, we went on to experience the power of Maya Angelou, by reading ‘Still I Rise’ and chatted about it.

    We had a read of an item from the Scottish Recovery website,  Write to Recovery, called: ‘Eat a frog’  about anxiety- eating the frog is one step in breaking through something you are worried about- and relates to the technique of thinking of a big problem as an elephant,  How do you eat an elephant? In small chunks.

    My suggestion for home writing was: What are your frogs or elephants?Only a suggestion, as we can write whatever we want and know it is right!

    More mental wealth at The Hope Cafe next week! Anyone can write, please come along!

     

  • New Writing Group at The Hope Cafe Lanark

    On Wednesday 1st of July,  Wee Read started a braw reading  ‘n writing group at The Hope Cafe – a place where anyone who has experience of mental health issues can come and be supported in an informal setting. The Cafe supports self-help and wellbeing and is often buzzing; with people chatting, meeting others with shared experiences and a chance to develop personally.

    The wee group got stuck right in, with an introduction to ‘free writing’, or ‘expressive writing’, – that means you can write whatever you want. There is no judgement, criticism, or formality- it is just a chance to open up yourself to the potent power of writing . We chatted and listened to a variety of readings.

    We heard poems from William Stafford, an American poet and a great man for his daily journal which is an idea that I encourage.You can later go back to things you wrote and find some gems to reflect on and grow from.Even grow a poem!

    When you write in the free style, you are ignoring your own judgement which can sometimes limit you. It is amazing what stuff comes out if we let it. Also, it can be a wee bit scary at times, so doing it in the company of others can be a bit of a comfort zone with whatever you are feeling and thinking.

    We chatted about Scottish Recovery Network’s Write to Recovery website and looked at one of the letters of recovery.

    We also heard Tom Leonard and chatted about how hard it is to read dialect. I look forward to sharing some of ma poems wi’ a wee bit ay the local Blanturr accent!

    We had a bit of time in the middle of the session to sit outside and used a postcard to write about. I found the contributions inspiring, frank, and uplifting. Thanks to all who came and I am looking forward to some new people and new wee words tomorrow!!