Sunday, August 15, 2010

Traveling the Sacred Journey Together

The stories I most like to read are about women who suddenly find themselves confidantes and compatriots on this journey we call womanhood. They may never have met before, but a spark of conversation is all it takes to kindle a kinship.

I will never forget The Women's Room, a novel by Marilyn French, first published in 1977.  In the book women offered each other humor, insight and comfort at a time when they needed it most.

So it was in the Circle yesterday. We come together, virtual strangers, and quickly develop a caring place of laughter and sharing.  We sense we are forming possible friendships for life as we travel the sacred journey of the feminine.

The healing power of storytelling is the glue that binds us. We heard from Jan Backes who when she came to the Circle three months ago held a poem. The second time, she came bearing a 100-word essay and yesterday, her third visit to the Circle, read what is unarguably the start of a fascinating memoir.Way to go, Jan!

We heard another incredibly beautiful piece from Robyn. Her haunting voice in a story about being a single mother reminded me of author Alice Sebold, author of Lucky, her memoir, and The Lovely Bones.  Sebold  graduated from Great Valley High School, right here in Chester County.

We also had a special visit yesterday from the Daily Local News, Chester County's daily newspaper.  The paper is writing a feature story about the Circle and our upcoming workshop, "The Art and Practice of Memoir."  Storyteller and childrens' author, Maureen Barry of Malvern, will be featured in the video portion of the story reading from her memoir, tentatively titled My Rearview Mirror. That's Maureen on the left of this page and writer Robyn Wood of Chester Springs, top right.   Maureen's website is:

Such is the power of the Circle and the read-around . . . coming together as a community of women and writers is a precious gift.  August may be a languorous month, but it teemed with energy yesterday at Wellington Square Bookshop.

All the best to my Sisters in the Writing Circle,


Jan Backes said...

Jan. Fran is my grandmother.

Susan G. Weidener said...

Dear Jan,

Very sorry. I must have been having a senior moment.

Maureen said...

The Read Around was enriching as we shared each of us had something to contribute to the other. Hope to see everyone back in September with their revisions or more memoir developed. memoir is certainly a rewarding journey!

Susan G. Weidener said...

Thank you, Maureen. Well said. I look forward to seeing you in September.