Written at WRITE ON!

Written at WRITE ON! is a series of articles written by participants during a WRITE ON! workshop, and shared with the community.

Kirtan Dancer wrote this during Kind Fools’ WRITE ON! workshop in April 2023.

The Pack

Writing workshops work on wrangling the wild horses of my inner landscape on paper.

The horses don’t like to be wrangled. “We can’t be boxed in,” they say. Yet the writer says, “Just trust me. It’s all temporary. I’m not here to box you in, but to challenge in expressions that may be unfamiliar.

The leader of the pack today is Grief, right by their side is Dissociation and Shame.

Grief trots on with a weighted blanket on its back, and a multitude of colors that no one can ignore. Towering over the rest of the pack, Grief leaves no room for doubt who would be triumphant if one was dumb enough to challenge them to a scuffle. But sheer size and strength are not all it takes, Grief’s confidence and presence are unquestionable. The only way out is through and Grief will come through with you.

Dissociation comes with the hollow thousand-yard stare and a graying mane.

Shame is a bit smaller but quicker than the other two, riding with an unshakable/wavering chaos. Their mane glistens on the sunrays, enticing onlookers to its snare-ridden saddle.

They ride not for any particular destination or aim but because it’s movement. It’s all movement, flowing like an endless cascade of tributaries into creeks, rivers and oceans, clouds and rain.

The inner landscape keeps moving and the horses keep finding the pastures that suit them and their diet best.

Shame thrives in larger packs, where it circles the vulnerable and open hearted. They feast on the chaos and conflict and is validated by the pits they dig themselves only to act shocked when others trip and fall.

Dissociation prefers the dark desert nights numbing themselves on their own dying hunger. They get validated by the loneliness that they sought out in their mistrust and flight from the others. They will spend many nights or weeks in the forsaken wasteland.

Unless, Grief, love, trust and compassion rally the pack, Dissociation would stay out there to take its dying breath, but that day is yet to come, and Grief comes to the wasteland to say, “Thank you for your protection.

While many others scoff, judge, or are frustrated with Dissociation, there are those who understand with compassion and gratitude. Grief towers over the pack, cloaked in its weighted blanket that masks a bright beating heart of love.

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