Diane Gottlieb, winner of the 2021 “Dancing in the Rain” fellowship, taught a workshop on January 29, 2022, called “Where Our Stories Breathe.” The workshop raised funds for WCDH scholarships while providing inspiration for its participants. Writer and graphic artist anji johnson expressed her thoughts about the experience in such a beautiful, creative way, we wanted to share it with you along with a bit of her artwork.
“Our Stories are like cozy, well-worn sweaters—stained with past messes, full of holes, and ill-fitted to our emerging selves. We’ve been seen in them far too many times—they no longer serve us as protection from our elements but mark us as targets for ridicule.
But today is different. Today l realized that I came to you, my handmade stories in tatters, thread-bare from their telling, and l have begun weaving a new story—one where I show gratitude for outgrown old ones. And that it’s okay to be the hero in this ‘new me’ tale.
So, with a nod in honor of who l was, and a fresh outlook on where I’m headed, I look into the mirror of Now, and liking what l see—not the injured inner child, not the workaholic career woman—reflected back to me is the human spirit enjoying being the gift in my own presence. Thanks so much, Diane, for pulling at the loose ends, and helping me unravel my past hurts tying me down. Your workshop has kick-started a much-needed reboot to my system! I am forever grateful. Please share this note with the others—as my ‘thank you’ to each of them for sharing in my breakthrough. I can only hope our gathering was as powerful for each of them. Their courage to show up helps us all—even if they didn’t share aloud."
Find out if there’s a WCDH workshop coming up that might inspire you at www.writerscolony.org/events.