After the tragic death of my nephew Justin Andrew in December, I didn’t know when I’d feel up to teaching again or being in and with the writing community I’ve come to cherish so deeply.
I’m grateful that I knew to (and that I could) take the time to go into myself, to grieve and heal and just be. I’m still grieving. Still healing. But teaching the first class of the Writing for the Seasons Series on the vernal equinox felt so good and right, I knew it was time to dip my toes back into the world.
In one of the class readings by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Returning The Gift, the Potawatomi scientist and poet writes: “What does the Earth ask of us? To meet our responsibilities and to give our gifts. Naming responsibility is often understood as accepting a burden, but in the teachings of my ancestors, responsibilities and gifts are understood as two sides of the same coin. The possession of a gift is coupled with a duty to use it for the benefit of all. A thrush is given the gift of song, and so has a responsibility to greet the day with music, which is in turn received as a gift to us as we watch the sky grow pink with dawn. Salmon have the gift of travel, so they accept the duty of carrying food upriver. The stars were given the gift of sparkle, coupled with the responsibility of guiding us at night. So when we ask ourselves, what is our responsibility to the Earth, we are also asking ‘What is our gift?’”
I have many gifts. One of them is my teaching, how good I am at working with writers, guiding them in their story writing, helping them see the importance of their stories and the necessity of craft.
I felt the call to offer a new series of classes, The Begin Again Series, to honor my new beginning and the glorious message the earth gives us every spring: that if she can come back to life, so can we.
The Begin Again Series are generative and craft classes that will take place on Wednesdays in April: April 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th, 7-9pm EST.
April 6th: Writing about Home
April 13th: Writer’s Block—Is it real? How can we get unstuck?
April 20th: Nature Writing
April 27th: Epistolary Writing—Writing Letters
The classes will be themed and donation based. Donations are encouraged.
I also recently launched the Writing for the Seasons Series, two hour Writing classes on the first day of spring, summer, winter and fall. The remaining classes & their themes are:
- the Summer Solstice on June 21st, theme: Freedom
- the Fall Equinox on September 22nd, theme is: Harvest
- the Winter Solstice on December 21st, theme is: Light
I will be announcing more classes in the coming weeks, including a full fall schedule.
Thank you for welcoming me back. I’m still feeling out what my social media presence will look like, but I expect to be more quiet. You can always find me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mucho amor. Hope to see your faces soon.
To register or ask questions: email@example.com.
Hey PLL. My oldest brother died a bit over a week ago. Feelings catching me today. We became estranged. Homophobic comments from him and so…6 years went by. He wasn’t a great brother although I have loving memories from early childhood. He was so much older than me. Anyway my sister, I am so slow to tears. Friday is his funeral. In Philly. I don’t plan to go. This is rough. 😪 ~Jourdan “Take care of your blessings” ~Essex Hemphill Follow me on twitter @griotworks Blog: http://jourdankeith.wordpress.com/