In The Redwood Grove by Mykel Mogg

In the spirit of Doing What We Want (which is the name of our 3 day unit in which we explore a list of Things We Want To Do More Of In Creative Writing), we hopped on a bus and went to the botanical gardens. Magnolia leaf hats were worn, leaves were licked, and birds and airplanes were listened to.

We almost didn’t go because of the weather. It was damp and gray, and we were worried about getting cold. But we decided by popular vote to go anyways and get our butts wet. We went to the redwood grove, where there is a log podium and some benches. We took turns going up to the podium and standing on the wobbly stump to read short pieces we’d written.

I’ve recently been in a bit of a writing rut, but listening to the diversity of voices in our department riff on mysteriously similar themes never fails to inspire me. I filled up a page of my notebook with poetic odds and ends instead of the lists of facts/responsibilities that it’s been filled up with over the past few weeks.

Just as we confronted the cold to go out and have an adventure, a lot of us confronted feelings of inadequacy in order to step up to the podium and say, “Hey guys, this is my art. It’s worth your time and attention.”

I’m thinking about the how incredibly lucky we were to be somewhere damp today when our state is in the middle of a drought. And I wonder how that connects to the feelings we have to confront to share our art with each other. Anyways, I loved our non-judgemental sharing space. I leave you with these thoughts and an assertive moo, which is apparently how I express deep appreciation for writing now.

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