I’m so grateful for the writing group I am in. Most of the people there are at least twenty years older than me. Most of the time I don’t know what they are talking about. That partly could be me because I zone out easily and, even with my same-age friends, I often miss the point of a story or a punch lines of a joke. But, mostly it’s because they have lived in a different era.
In our group, we write down words or phrases that are meaningful to us that we would like to write about. We put all the slips of paper in a bucket and draw them out. The person who draws out the word/phrase, reads it aloud, then chooses a time limit for writing, usually about 10 to 15 minutes. The reason why I like this group is, well, because 1) I love to write. 2) I love people. 3) I love getting to know people through writing and 4) I love love learning. I like finding out the each person’s style of writing and learning about their lives through their written word, rather than, as with other people in my life, it is through verbal words.
We usually have a little discussion after each person writes; and wow, I have learned so much from my elders. Today was a great day of learning. I started and the phrase was “split hair.” The only thing I could think of was “split ends” and how my mom used to show me what they looked like using my own hair. She would say, “When you get split ends, that’s when you’re know you need a hair cut” or something. It turns out, after I heard everyone read their pieces, “split hairs” is a phrase or idiom that means having a conflict or quibbling about petty things; to discriminate or make a fine distinction.
The next word was “vintage” and the members shared lots of memories from their pasts, eras that I have only read about in books or heard about from my parents and grandparents. When I shared my little piece about my brother Nate and how he likes vintage clothes, that spurred another whole discussion about how they themselves wore the clothes my brother liked to wear, such as leisure suits and bell bottoms. And for the women, paisley tops, mini skirts and pedal pushers. It was a very enlightening conversation.
Other times, they have written and talked about historical events, such as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster or when President Kennedy was shot. One man often writes about politics, which try as I might, I have a hard time relating to. But I try to-so that’s all that matters. Another lady has written about her family and a dress of her grandmother’s that is on display at a historical museum. Through their writing I have learned about other things I can relate to-just because we are all humans: health challenges, family joys and struggles, spirituality and the natural world.
So grateful to God for this group!