Each month we host a Writing Alone Together circle for IAJW members. I have been so inspired by the writing done and shared in our circles that I have decided to start a new feature on our blog called From the Pages of Our Journals, where IAJW members are invited to share their journaling/life writing (if they wish to) with others.
Have you ever wondered what to write about in your journal? Do you enjoy using prompts to go to the page and write? Do you find other people’s writing and stories often inspire your own writing? If so, I hope you will really enjoy this new feature.
I am going to start things off by sharing the writing I did in our virtual circle today, facilitated by the amazing Judy Reeves, writer, author and IAJW Journal Council Expert. Judy shared a reading from her book Wild Women, Wild Voices: Writing from Your Authentic Wildness and then offered all those gathered in the circle the following journal writing prompt: I always knew I would…
Here is my writing that flowed from this prompt in an 8-minute timed writing exercise (unedited journal entry):
I always knew I would dance and twirl and feel music move through me. When I was a young girl I wanted to take dance lessons but was put in Brownies and Girl Guides and figure skating instead. Still, I wanted to dance.
I loved watching dancing and I was enamoured with tap dancing at one point. I was around 8 or 9 years old and I taped kitchen spoons, much to my mother’s dismay, onto the bottom of my shoes in effort to get the sound of tapping as I danced against the floor.
Then at age 11 or 12, I remember gathering with my girlfriends to choreograph a dance routine for our spring talent show at school. We danced to Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical. I wore a dress made of a black skirt, orange body and bright yellow sleeves with the word Physical painted across the front. We practiced on the front lawn of my friend’s childhood home for hours. We were a group of six girls…dancing, twirling and laughing.
In first-year university, I took my desire for dance lessons into my own hands and feet and signed up for a modern dance class. Lessons were woven in and around my social work classes and working, often amidst heartbreaking circumstances in child welfare after-hours protection.
When dancing, all that darkness and stories of abuse I witnessed in my work, dimmed. I would wear fuschia and purple and bright-coloured tights to my dance class and when the music played and my body moved, my spirit soared. I wasn’t able to continue those lessons beyond the first year as I couldn’t afford the class fees along with my university tuition. I was also a “late dancer”; most people in the class had been studying dance since their early childhoods.
Today, I dance in my living room, at events, at Dance Temple, around the fire when we go camping with the music playing from the car stereo in the dark, fire crackling – me often twirling, dancing, being filled with joy while our dog barks, boys laugh and my husband smiles – knowing what I love.
Wild Woman Dancing, I am.