The new season of Writing Circles began this week at Emma's Writing Center. I asked everyone to do a ten minute warm-up and create a list of "I" statements. This is a sample of what was written and shared in the different groups. Think of this as a mosaic made out of words, representing the collective consciousness of more than three dozen women.
I am a blank page. I am sitting where I sat before. I am curious about what everyone else is writing. I have wanted to write for a long time. I am eager to see what happens. I am slightly sleepy. I am trying to say yes more often. I feel young, but I look in the mirror and see my grandmother’s wrinkles etched in my face. I can’t resist picking up interesting rocks and adding them to the giant pile I already don’t know what to do with. I have a collection of rolling pins. I enjoy doing boring, repetitive tasks. I have trouble remembering what is true about my life and what is fiction. I have uprooted myself and I'm putting down new roots. I yearn to live a more well-rounded life. I wonder if life will seem this annoying, and this wonderful, always. I am sometimes anxious about the future. I have more weeds than flowers in my garden. I need a haircut. I can't wait for cool weather so that wool will feel good to wear, to knit. I started feeling younger after my last birthday. I moved several months ago and still have half my stuff packed in boxes and lying around the apartment. I don't always listen to the good advice I give myself. I wish I liked yoga. I hate bullies and snobs. I need to write. I like my mind. I live next to a field from my childhood, with bees, Queen Anne's Lace, fireflies, ragweed and 15 yellow flowers I can't name. I want to write consistently and produce a book. I often need to be invited into a setting or a conversation before I will throw myself in, in a personal way. I want to learn how to refashion thrift shop clothes. I miss my mother. I hate talking about food. I've grown comfortable with change. I have a huge crush on Neil Young. I used to be a barfly. I am in limbo. I want to be more lovable. I recently discovered that, although I tell myself there's nothing about me that I like, I'm really quite fond of my feet and my hair. I am full, yet terribly empty. I have my father's eyes and my mother's telephone voice. I'm an extrovert, except when I'm not. I like dogs, all the time, and knitting, all the time, and sushi most of the time, and olives none of the time. I wish I could go back in time and visit Smedley's Bookshop, just once. I wish adults had bunk beds. I am filled with enthusiasms that I allow to fizzle out. I have good handwriting, which I think should count for something. I miss myself when I get unmoored but I get annoyed when I stay moored for too long. I sometimes go to extremes, but maybe they average out to moderation. I wish I had a goal. I want to be so cool. I think I wasted the summer. I want my front yard to become totally moss-covered. I hate the ants who whisper in the walls. I hate the woodpeckers who eat the house, looking for the ants whispering in the walls. I wonder if I will regret anything from today. I want to paint big pictures. I dream of making shapely pots. I have a very busy brain that thinks much faster than I can write. I dream in color. I am very impatient with technology. I am bull-headed and stubborn, sometimes too much for my own good. I wish everyone owned a pair of red shoes and one day a year was earmarked "Red Shoes Day." I will write a book. I wish I had a fancy, large vocabulary so I could impress people. I dreamed of flooding last night, of things leaking out. I dance with joy, but quietly, inside, without much movement. I am unfinished. I recalibrate by facing the setting sun. I am continually battling with the challenges of being old. I have given up on ever looking stylish. I hate being so preoccupied with myself. I love the Saturday morning farmer's market, succulent peaches, abundant greens, friends gathering together in gratitude for our precious time right here. I have lost people who were important parts of my life and now there are big holes in my heart. I want to eat watermelon and blueberries for my last meal. I can't sing but that doesn't stop me. I want to be a green sea turtle in my next incarnation, assuming they aren't already extinct by then. I long for a less complicated life. I used to be funny. I want to step outside myself. I want to step inside myself. I am being a warrior in the abyss. I need to get away. I need to do nothing. I just learned that I am going to be a grandmother for the first time. I want some new body parts. I want to stop taking Green Vibrance, which I mix with water and it's like drinking a lawn. I want to stop saying I want. I wonder what I'm going to be when I grow up. I was astonished today to learn that I have 10 out of the 12 traits and habits of a happy person. I like to spend a lot of time in my own brain. I love a good, deep silence. I love to awaken to the sound of rain. I respect and admire spiders, and I keep my distance. I take care of my mother. I must remember to take care of me. I try everyday to walk my labyrinth and visit the stone circle. I know that life is change. I want to be obsessed. I push aside my bangs, glowing russet in the morning sun, and stretch my arms overhead. I walk to let my mind wheel through the treetops and perch on a branch like the goldfinch riding the blue sky. I write in phrases that don't always have a common theme. I have re-discovered my quadriceps and whipped them into shape. I am writing a book about my ancestors. I will make sure I have color to look at this winter. I am between dreams. I like living at the top of the world. I am what I am. I am a haiku, a sonnet, an epic poem.