Over a couple hours the four people delved into the depths of self and community. A time was set and the four picked up pens in non-dominant hands. They drew imagined self portraits without aid of glass mirrors. Then, writing and viewing and writing some more. As each moment passed more insights occurred.
All of the reflection made bodies demand connection. The four shuffled chairs and formed a circle. One shared the wisdom of tapping touch, and all tapped selves. After minutes of tapping, one became two. One fellow tapped another starting with her/his shoulders. Then, the neck, the spine, and down the sides of arms. It ended with hands gently laying on lower backs. More tapping, more connecting, more intimacy.
A round of stories shared broke that silence, which spurred five minutes more of quick scribing sharpies. Buzz. Three paragraphs of free writes stared reflectively at each person. "Pick one line that summarizes the essence of each paragraph." And everyone probed each paragraph until three lines were picked. "Write each sentence down on a single notecard." And everyone transcribed each line until twelve lines of poetry filled the room.
This is the collective poem of those four individuals and above are their self portraits:
break free from shelf-containment
my drawing tells me that i feel trapped in my present environment
the right side of my brain is misfiring
i am amazed at how i don't always know my body even though it is the only one i have
there is only me
other portraits tell me i'm not comfortable in my own skin
i am experiencing the feeling of anger towards my father right now
i want the release of a good cry, the kind where minerals are expelled through eyes
the stark black ink against bright white paper is a visual contrast to the serenity i feel
do not merely read, live out the word
there is proportion, depth, movement, emotion, and even some dissonance
great to be a part of this street-level, sunshine-powered workshop