Good friends Eric and Josie and their son Dietrich stayed with us for four nights last week. They usually live in Ukraine, so we had a lot of lost time to make up for. The last time we saw them for more than a few hours was when we met up in Budapest. Five years ago. I'll tell you more about their visit once I can put the pictures up.
The night before our visitors arrived, I went to the second session of my writing class. I cried. No, not from fear or embarrassment or anything like that, though it would be understandable if that's what you figured. Fellow student Bob read a powerfully moving piece he'd written about holding his baby granddaughter. It was not in the least bit sentimental, but so real and filled with love that I couldn't stop a few tears from rolling down my cheeks.
The class has been pretty draining for me. We read our impromptu writing aloud and have time at the end to share something else we're working on if we want to. I find the dynamic very similar to that of church small groups I've been to. It's all so very personal, and it's a lot to take in with a bunch of new people. Half the group has taken the class before and have already gotten close to one another, so I'm sure that has accelerated the pace.
Ever the skeptic and not one for touchy-feelyness, I'm not sure how I feel about the overall approach to writing we're being presented with. But it really doesn't matter. It's certainly not hurting, and at least I am engaged again after a long spell of letting it lie.
I've been reading the book Art & Fear, which has been a huge encouragement. I'll leave you with a quote that speaks to my tendency to compare myself (unfavorably) to writers I admire:
Whatever they have is something needed to do their work--it wouldn't help you in your work even if you had it. Their magic is theirs. You don't lack it. You don't need it. It has nothing to do with you. Period.
-David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear