What the Writing Group has Meant to Me – Jaylek Ahn
While difficult to put into just a few words, I am so grateful for the depth of emotion, opening, closing, re-opening, awe and reverence that I’ve experienced in the presence of fellow writers that have come to mean so much to me, as has this weekly writing group. Not only, in retrospect, has this group been a primary outlet and source for integration during my first year at Southwestern College — this spectacular, mesmerizing, bewildering, tear-provoking and laughter-invoking year, but it has given me, in fact granted me, with grace, acceptance, and warmth of holding; a place to belong, to truly feel myself welcome, with permission to be or not to be, to read or not to read, and to allow all that I am, all I have buried, all I (still) grieving and all I am (still) craving to come to light. While each and every person in this group has been integral to my personal process, I feel compelled to be entirely forthcoming (a reputation I’m confident I’ve earned) about the fact that the facilitation of this group by writer, poet, teacher, and mentor Ann Filemyr has been so very important to me. I am so grateful. And, more will be revealed.
Prayer to the Result of Life (Jaylek Ahn – writing group)
“For I know not the cause, so let me find Grace in the result.”
GRACE shifts, spirals, hides, peeks out around sometimes violently jagged edges.
Just on the other side. So very close, less than paper thin, on the other side of abject grief, of terror, of aloneness, it is there as a wisp, barely acknowledged, or acknowledgeable, if I stop paying very very close attention.
And this it does seem is the Grace I have to offer others. Be who you are. You are welcome here. What I offer is the space to just be yourself. Whoever you are. Whatever is real.
Without what is real I am incapable (though others may be otherwise) of finding the grace that is chronically close – I cannot pierce through even a paper thin veil of fraud to find grace. Or, I couldn’t for many years.
Now, perhaps, though I’d never attribute it to wisdom, perhaps, more like exhaustion, exhaustion, implicit exhaustion from all the holding others away, holding others at arm’s length, or with a stare, or with an absence of eye contact.
[“Jaylek – you are single because you let everyone know within the first 5 minutes you are not available.” ] I hear that – I remember that.
I am seeking Grace regardless of outcome. Of the one, the few, the indefinable – the occasional, that I don’t give that message to.
Why is that? Maybe I am still hoping there is a unique person who has easier access to Grace than I do; if they take my hand – and I follow them –
I will not have to work so hard.
It’s time to laugh at this idea. No one is any closer to the Grace that is just on the other side of the paper thin veil of all that we meet in this life.
All encounter challenge, tragedy, confusion.
The paper veil is the same for us all.
No one can make the journey wholly less illuminated, or wholly more illuminated —
Yet I can join in Grace
in seeking Grace
IF I can – IF I can see equality in just this one thing –
Cease the raising or the lowering – this is the process of Grace that brings me to the outcome –
Grace as an outcome. I can welcome, regardless of details, regardless of specific words, regardless of who shows up.
On the other side, I remember this clearly.