From a writing prompt by Poet Jen Harris, from her writing workshop.
Her workshops include writing from 3 prompts, for 10 minutes each.

October 27, 2020
What does the break you need, look like?

I’m partaking in this beautiful illusion that gravity is lessened by the tiny swinging motion of this hammock that imitates the wild and free swinging I loved as a child. The kind of swinging I can’t tolerate since I had one, or rather, three. 

Which reminds me, three was always my favorite number until it was the one I had to use to correct the number of living children I’m supposed to have. I need to give myself a break – sit in a hammock swing, feel fresh air on my face, reach out and touch sand or dirt or blades of grass. Give myself a break to grieve. Grieve the number I loved, that means something different now. Grieve the child that would’ve been. Grieve the life I thought I would live. Grieve the person I thought I’d be – the mother I thought I’d be, the woman.
I thought I’d be…
better already. 

I put mascara on for the first time this week two minutes before I was supposed to come to this class, but I got the time zone wrong. Maybe if I paint my face just right you’ll see past all that isn’t right, with me. The problem is, I never learned those skills. Instead I practiced giving myself a break in the only way I know how, by sharing my brokenness. I can apply mascara – I can get you to look at my most beautiful feature; the green eyes that if you look just long enough will give you a window to that place that matters most; my soul. My name means meadow of grace, and that meadow is the soul you can reach when you see into me; endless grace for you. 

Somehow never enough for me.

I need to give myself a break. 

Let my broken self be: swing in a hammock, with a journal in my lap. Worn gold letters that say, “Write what should not be forgotten.” Listen to the sound of the ocean, waves crashing and taking over the soundtrack of my life with the most comforting ambient sound there is. The best break I can give myself is an opportunity to bleed the sorrow and joy; to live on the page with the kind of vulnerability I’ve always let others give to me. 

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