Circles of Women

CIRCLES OF WOMEN Wendy Judith Cutler (1992)
(Dedicated to all the circles of women writing everywhere)


each time we pose
pen or pencil to paper
we connect with who we are      who we were      who we want to be
we are circles of women
writing together
in dialogue
reaching for the depth
or surface brilliance
writing our lives authentically      intuitively      consciously
coming together
to read       to write      to share      to listen      to speak
knowing ourselves more
as we come to know others
creating a space
safe enough for our pain
and joy
our losses
and our resilience

write anything
about what?
write about anything
write about your hunger      cravings      desires      obsessions
I don’t have any

let yourself go
go deeply
deny nothing

I used to write      a lot      stopped
someone read my words
my thoughts
I stopped writing
never wanted anyone else to know

tell the story of the betrayal      violation       criticism

there were other times
I became silent     ashamed      vulnerable

write it out
put it down
word by word
thought by thought

I’m scared
it’s too painful
too boring
too wordy
too hard

breathe      stay calm      own your feelings
acknowledge your experiences
confront your censors
go beyond your blocks
discover the source that fuels
your creativity    your words  your power

but that’s frightening
I feel overwhelmed

just start writing
put it down
whatever comes
keep writing
don’t stop

all right,   here goes:
I am a woman who…
This is a day in the life of…
An obsession of mine is…
If I could change anything I’d…
write anything
from your heart   your body   your soul
write your pain
your joy
write your regrets
your truths
your dreams
your visions
write your lies
I am on a tropical island…
I watch the waves…
I am in the forest…
I am alone in a cabin…
I  am on my bed…
I am in my favourite chair…
I am at my desk….
I am under a tree….
I am near the fire….
(in unison)

we write wherever we are
we write when we’re overwhelmed
we write to clear our minds
we write to express our anger
we write to clarify our thoughts
we write when we’re too tired to talk
we write to capture that exact feeling
we write to release our pain
we write to honour our truths
we write to connect ourselves to this circle
these circles of women writing

each time
we pose
pen or pencil to paper

(excerpted in We’Moon 2011 and in Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection. Butterfly Press, 2014)

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