We started with a poem by Joseph T. Renaldi, Gratefulness, here is an extract:
I am grateful for the eyes that I can see
the activities that can be done by me.
I am grateful for the ears that I may hear
the sobbing of those who need me near.
I am grateful for the lips that I might speak
words of comfort and peace to all who seek.
I am grateful for a mind that I might know how to aid those who need me so.
Full poem is available here
The format was to focus on each of the 5 senses, so we used our listening, our seeing, our taste, smell and touch to write what the Hope Cafe gave to each.Some of the great responses are here:
What do you see here?
Friendliness, dedication, light;
I see different people all pulled together; sharing health, stories and friendship;
sharing good things
A nice group of people getting me out and about. People chattin’, laughin’;
Cheerful people seeing the same as me.
What do you hear in this place?…
People talking, laughter;
voices, door opening and shutting;
What do you taste here?…
Coffee – bitter, chocolate – sweetness.
What do you smell here?…
What do you touch here?…
Empathy, someone to listen , to take time, is valid in every way;
We can touch life together and feel it flowing around us.
I love the way some senses mingled with others, especially touch, which showed the open-hearted approach in The Hope Cafe.We all touch each other’s hearts.
I shared my own poem, ‘After Mum’s Stroke’ -describing how grateful I felt about caring for my mum. We moved on to write on the thoughts and emotions that we have about the Hope Cafe –
What do you think about this place?
It is so unique;
I think it is a brave place – in an uncertain life, there was no guarantee it would work out.
I think it is a good place.
I think Hope Cafe is a wonderful place where no one judges you and I feel accepted.
Hope Cafe is a lifeline.
What do you feel about this place?
I feel I am at home.
It is comfortable and friendly.
I am thankful it is near to my town.
Socialising – feels a relief to know I can go any time without any pressure. I feel I can say what I feel to volunteers and it is a release.
I feel it’s a very worthwhile meeting place and I enjoy coming and socialising and of course the expressive writing!
Then we explored objects for each of the senses:
– a story called ‘Oor Street’ by Margaret Boyce.This was written in the voice of a wee lassie, and wis fun to read and share oor ain memories.It is in The Scottish Book Trust 2014 book Stories of Home
“A take ma gob stopper oot ma mooth, an A wonner if ma tongue’s blue noo. A stick it oot as for as A kin, but A canny see it. Wiping ma sticky hauns doon the back a ma bran new pink shorts, A look roun tae see if anybidy’s watching. A feel guilty. Ma daddy always tells me no tae clean ma hauns on ma claithes. Eh says it’s no lady-like. Black tar fae the melting pavement oozes up the side a ma white sandal an onti ma clean white soak. A try to wipe it off oan the grass – but ma soak’s streaked green an black noo…”
-Dr. Seuss picture book, I Can Lick Fifty Tigers Today a fun story too!Made us smile.
Best line “I can lick one mighty tiger today…”.More Dr. Seuss here
Mango bits, coconut…
Lavender oil, a rose, basil leaves and mint leaves.
A wee soft leprechaun, a wooden goblet, a twig.
The writers had a lot of thoughtful pieces and some will be used for the coming booklet.Here is one gorgeous example:
Oh to indulge,
on such wonderful things created for my pleasure;
It’s truly a gift.
No money exchanged would I depart,
for this awesome beauty all surrounding me
makes my heart skip a beat;
Calm, peace, serenity endures.
We felt grateful for two new faces and voices today, and as usual, I felt happy and buzzin’ at the end.