Spring Cleaning

Had you stopped by my place during the last two weeks you’d find me in a closet, my behind in mid-air, cursing in both languages while hauling out a dozen cement heavy cardboard boxes and crates of vinyl albums, or perhaps standing still, adrift in memories, after unearthing kindergarten art and a wooden throne from a grade school play.

Days later I emptied out my office closet, relieved to find undisturbed rat traps, and was surprised to find forgotten containers from another life. I sat in the middle of my office floor, rummaging through wicker storage baskets where a twenty and thirty year old me had stashed travel  souvenirs, love letters, and a file folder from my first writing workshop.

I had begun struggling with infertility in the early nineties and longing to create. A flyer at the Santa Cruz Public Library caught my eye and, soon after, Maude Meehan greeted me at her door with a wicked moon beam of a smile and her signature embrace. maudie

Little did I know that I’d met a grand matriarch, community activist and poet who’d recently published Chipping Bone, her first of many books of poetry. Along with fragrant herbal tea and cookies, she welcomed a small group of writers, into her home, for a supportive, yet demanding weekly writing class of prose and poetry. From one season to another, I never missed a class,  and learned to listen to poems and short stories, in a variety of voices, but most importantly to honor my writing and listen to myself.

There I learned to let loose and write it down, for me. And for me alone.

There I thrived among the raucous and sometimes painful stories, which informed my writing and challenged my understanding of craft.

There, I finally gave voice to a handful of stories gleaned from my childhood and would later turn into Guacamole with Feta Cheese, a work still in progress.


MAUDE MEEHAN BROCHURE 2

 

3 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Hi LIz,

    LOVED Stretch Marks which I finished reading a few weeks ago. I would love to get together and talk about it with you. I recently spent a week in Oaxaca taking a Spanish Intensive class which was wonderful. Your book reminded me that it was your slide show of Oaxaca that I saw at one of your Day of the Dead parties years ago that originally gave me the desire to visit Oaxaca. Thank you for that!

    Let me know if you’re free for a cup of tea, Sheila

    • So good to hear from you, Sheila! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know how much you enjoyed Stretch Marks. And I’d love to hear about your travels to Oaxaca. A magical place. I’ll drop you a line and we’ll make plans soon. Abrazos, Liz

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