I started off 14 women, many who did not know each other, and did not know quite what to expect, but willing to take the plunge. They were seated in 3's or 4's at a table with people they did not know. The intention was to get them to meet new people. I began with a welcome, and reading my poem - The Blaze of herself - and then spoke about the danger of the single stories (thanks to Chimamanda Adichie) we tell about ourselves and others. The purpose of the day was to find the kaleidescope of stories that is each one of us.
Participants told stories about the times in their lives when their 'breast were erect, and they shook as I walked' (song of lawino - okot p'bitek). There was a lot of laughter as people remembered the power of youth and sensuality. We had powerful memories of childhood and deep reflection when I read my poem 'Velvety skies'
Memories of fathers, and of grandparents , of special moments came back. We reflected on moments of power - when we felt so absolutely in our own power. Memories of childbirth and defiance, of pain and joy, of facing fear and going on anyway - of living flooded our minds!!! As each woman made time to slow down, and reflect
We played with kaleidescopes, shared stories and poetry, wrote poetry, and drew with jik and ink - to create images of what had been revealed to us, of ourselves. There was a lot of laughter, and lot of love, and a lot of support. Each person left having connected with parts of themselves that they had forgotten and with at least 2 or 3 other women.