“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your […]
“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is locked up with mine, then let us work together.” -Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970.
on wednesday and thursday last week, i held the last sessions in my first poetry workshop series,the silence that words come from. there were 11 people in the two groups. as we wrapped up, they spoke about how the sessions had changed them – each of them in a different way, some had huge realisations about the role of writing in their lives, others discovered they could open up and share their work. everyone surprised themselves with what they wrote, not believing or seeing before, that they could be comfortable with their own words.
as i listened to what each of them had to say, i was humbled and moved. i have always known that words have the power to change our lives – even if i haven’t always trusted what i know. the beauty of the change that words enable is that it is a quiet kind of change. it is the kind of change that can go unnoticed because it happens within us. i think this is the reason i haven’t trusted what i feel to be true about the power of words, in the past. at the same time, this is the kind of change that is the most powerful – seemingly small, quiet and within us.
the more i listened to each person speak, the more i felt my heart open till it burned with gratitude. i was humbled. this feeling happened many times throughout the workshop series, and it came from the realisation that i was doing the very work i dreamed to be doing: the work of my heart. i have always wanted to use words to support people in discovering their voice, in expressing it. and so, as each of them learnt about themselves, and grew into their voices, so too was i doing the same.
it is true that liberation is the process of opening ourselves up to learn and receive as we are giving. then we know the very centre of life – that space where you and i meet face to face on our journey and simply take a moment to acknowledge each other’s paths, no matter how different those paths may seem.
i have been opened to a point from which there is no return. i will never be able to look at someone without knowing or seeing that -even if just for that moment- they are a part of me, as i am a part of them. and because of that, i am unutterably changed.
© 2014 Toni Stuart. Designed by Jepchumba