2 minute read

sign outside building
A welcoming sign

On a chilly February evening, people began entering SolRise Farm and Cultural Arts Center.

At one minute before six, all 11 chairs set up around the centerpiece were occupied. People were ready to begin. They were ready to write.

Over the next few minutes, a dozen more people would trickle in, swelling the circle to 23 people sitting on blankets and bolsters and even a long bench.

people in the circle
The circle is underway

“People are hungry for this,” one of the participants said.

Hy led us through a check in round, “Name and what brought you here today?” As some of the stragglers arrived, we took a short break for tea and fruit and camaraderie. Then Hy led us through a body awareness meditation and sharing a poem about metamorphosis by Micah Hobbs Frazier.

Then, we were writing. If a pen stopped for too long, we were reminded to write the words “to tell the truth,” until we knew what to write next.

After putting our pens down, we did a brief check-in, where each person gave a word describing a color or emotion that they felt right at that moment of putting down the pen. After the second free-write, we enjoyed a break with more tea and fruit and fresh chocolate-chip cookies.

participants on a break
Participants enjoying a break after writing

At this point, we reconvened as two circles. This ensured there was time for everyone to share. Hy facilitated one circle and his wife Nicole facilitated the other.

breakout group 1
Nicole facilitating the first breakout group

Each person chose one of their two pieces to read. The writing was engaging, and elegant and ever so vulnerable. The groups took quickly to the idea of offering only-positive reflections and responses to hearing each others’ written truth.

breakout group 2
Hy facilitating the second breakout group

After the closing circle, one of the participants felt called to offer the following testimonial:

I definitely need to thank you for the opportunity to use you and your space to overcome my fears, anxieties and other misperceptions I thought about people. I saw beauty all through that space, also the beauty in those people.Their written expressions mowed down almost all of my personal irrational assumptions. Certainly I would recommend your service and do look foward to another experience.

- Peer Advisory Council Chair

The adults and children who showed up to this event came from many different backgrounds and life experiences. By sitting together and participating in this experience, we felt a greater appreciation for each other and our similarities.

Learn about future WRITE ON! workshops

Our centerpiece and community agreements