"I have decided to start by wearing hats. I’ve always loved them but feared they didn’t look right on me or that other people would think I look weird. I hereby declare that I don’t care if I look weird."
Carol Folsom, New Year's Resolution
In an effort to support our fellow Chat, Carol, in keeping her new year's resolution, the first Chat Noir Writers Circle meeting of 2015 was deemed "Hat Night." With an exception, or two, because we are nothing if not a band of rebels, each of us donned special hats. Let me just say as an aside, Panera Bread where we meet has rarely seen such joie de vivre.
To start the night and new season of writing we began with our own version of the Japanese ceremony known as Hari Kuyo. The 400 year old ritual involves sticking old needles into chunks of tofu as a way of showing thanks for their hard work. Although most of use computers to write we offered our old pens to the Divine Scribe and prayed that new pens and old friends would accompany us our upcoming writing journeys. It just so happens that my Sweetie had the perfect altar on which to place our pens - a log from one of the oak trees that used to stand guard over our house. He drilled holes in it to keep his favorite pens always at the ready. Not to mention neatly arranged in equidistant order.
For some reason I have not quite figured out yet, the Universe is sending me snippets of ideas to ponder and/or use in my writing. Like the article on Hari Kuyo, this perfect blessing from Mary Oliver appeared in one of my favorite blogs.
Bless the notebook that I always carry in my pocket.
And the pen.
Bless the words with which I try to say what I see, think, or feel.
With gratitude for the grace of the earth.
The expected and the exception, both.
For all the hours I have been given to be in this world.
– Mary Oliver, Good Morning
As soon as the altar was put away, our wise, wonderful, sage and leader presented us with chalkboard picture frames and our choice of pastel chalk. The beauty of a chalk board is that you can write and erase whenever you want. To christen them, however, we each wrote our word(s) for 2015.
Hats, prayers, chalk and words all before we even got down to the real business of our meeting. I don't know how to describe how it feels to sit in a circle of women brave enough to share their heart stories. (One might think a story would come from the brain, but I believe every story starts and ends in the heart of a writer.) All suggestions for improvement are made with love, except for some grammar corrections that are pointed out as if the reader has found the secret to finding a publisher instead of a split infinitive. For commas, semi-colons, and even the rare split infinitive all heads turn to Diane. There's no denying she is the grammar guru in a txt msg world.
A picture is worth 1000 words ... or more. But who's counting?
A word of warning: Watch out world the Chat Noir Writers Circle is geared up and ready to go.
My prayer for you would be to have a group of friends as dear and smart and funny as the one I'm blessed to be a part of.
P.S. While I love hats, I rarely buy them. After lamenting my lack, Louise came to my rescue. "I've got the perfect hat for you," she said. Perfect, indeed. Maybe I've been wrong all these years. Maybe my head was made to wear hats. Not small, dainty hats that let you sneak in a room unnoticed, but large, stand on their own merit hats that say, "I'm here, so let's get this party started." Thanks Louise for showing me the error of my ways.
|Who knew I looked so much like Queen Elizabeth. |
I might have to borrow Bella's