Loved. Lost. Found. The Reading

image: Loved. Lost. Found. the anthologyLast Saturday, nine women and men over the age of 70 gathered in front of a room at Harwood Place in Wauwatosa to share essays and poems they’d written during the past year.

They looked entirely at ease, despite the looming podium and microphone. I, on the other hand, trotted back and forth before the event began, shuffling papers, asking if anyone wanted water, working up a good sweat and rapid pulse. I could have used some of their serenity (even if they were faking it).

But while our levels of anxiety differed and our ages spanned miles apart, there was so much more that connected us that day.

Jacqui Banaszynski says, “Stories are parables. . . . Stories are history. . . . Each one stands in for a larger message…a guidepost on our collective journey.” When people gather together, writers or not, it doesn’t matter where we come from. Our stories–our histories–connect us. Each of us is daughter or son, husband or wife, old hat at this or novice at that. In the essays and poems read from the podium last Saturday, we heard about first loves, found objects, and failed knitting attempts. I am generations apart from the Harwood Place Writers, but I can relate.

This event is one of the highlights of my year and one of the reasons I continue to lead their class. These writers come to the table every month with open minds, tales to share, and a genuine fellowship that begins with a smile.

IMG_3285Congratulations to the Harwood Place Writers on another year of fantastic stories!



About Christi

Christi Craig is a native Texan living in Wisconsin, working by day as a sign language interpreter and moonlighting as a writer, teacher, and editor. Her stories and essays have appeared online and in print, and she received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Family Matters Contest, 2010. You can send comments or questions via her contact page.
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9 Responses to Loved. Lost. Found. The Reading

  1. Micki Allen says:

    What a delightful labor of love!

  2. Susan M. says:

    Helping people find a voice so late in life – what a satisfying experience for all of you

  3. Laurel Landis says:

    I really enjoyed this event. Great stories and inspiration – I’m glad to see first hand proof that we can all be creative no matter how old we are!

  4. Jan O'Hara says:

    I so love hearing about this project. Brings a smile to my face and lightness to my step every time.
    Jan O’Hara recently posted..Solitary Babes + Writer UnboxedMy Profile

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