Our 2018 Endless Beautiful writing course with Frequency Writers in Providence, Rhode Island is complete! We led the course of four classes using the EB Method to enhance our creativity and make a commitment to “sacred writing time” for students and instructors.
We met Sunday evenings at Ada Books and spent the class hours listening, writing, and sharing. We created four custom EB Sessions that debuted each week of class as the initial writing prompt. We loved delving deep into our soundbank to build these audio prompts, featuring sounds as far-flung as a Wisconsin rodeo, the beaches of Martinique, and soundscapes from our home-city of Providence.
Ada Books proved an amazing venue with a welcoming environment and so many books to draw upon for inspiration as writers! During class, we prioritized the act of writing. We found ourselves hungry each week to spend those dedicated hours to the craft and experiment of writing using sound as inspiration. We got some great work done, and even more great work drafted!
We felt a real bond with our students, and are so grateful for the opportunity to run this course and be a part of the Frequency Writers community! We can’t wait to do more. In our last class, we recorded a podcast episode that you can listen to below!
In this episode, we each share one of our favorite pieces of writing done in class using the EB method, and talk about the class experience in general. Please give it a listen! Then go to our Store page, download a Session of your choice, and create something of your own! All four sessions created for the class are now available in the store. Transcriptions from the works we read on the podcast are also provided below.
Thank you for reading, listening, creating, and sharing with us! Here’s the podcast:
The rumble of the whirl follows
through the sole of the slipper,
muscle masking the bone,
the body accepting the impossible
circumference of the fouetté.
Smaller down, the thud of pistols
in the ligaments, the grind of platelets
in the blood–nothing in the body
is kind or unkind, only growing or not.
The engine of living, fuel and flames,
even in its quietest a roar.
Come to know the bounce of the spark
for what it is. The baton-twirler,
her blazing torches, spins a certain truth.
Wonder is meant to be eaten.
Wonder is meant to be shared.
If the function of the body lacks kindness,
give it some. Retool the repertoire,
let us clap ourselves into crickets,
the ritual rhythm of the leg and the wing
saying I am ready, a mote
of motion among the chorus.
Return with me to the muscle,
to the ongoing spin. Remember with me
the bloodless jump of the cricket, the flea,
the endless hunger of living–
Remember the long stretch of the leg,
the slow burn of the knee,
the ripple of the escape
and the outstretched hands
reverberating throughout the room.
A plane soars by above me. It looks awfully low, almost intrusive. It’s a judging eye that stares at me, asking “why are you so scared to leave?”
“I’m not scared,” I think aloud.
I am lying on soft, pillowy New England grass, gazing at a rare cloudless blue sky in mid-fall when it’s usually crisp and overcast outside.
There’s a little boy just ten feet to my right, playing with a volleyball, abusing it as he pounds it into the pavement. Not looking up, not stopping.
“Oh, Tommy, would you give it a rest?”
He ignores me per usual, and I roll over onto my belly. Jesus is staring at me — tall, white marble with praying hands. Is this supposed to be comforting? Having him here, watching?
There’s a low whistle in the distance. My hair stands on the back of my neck, and I freeze. It’s…the train. But it’s not time yet. There’s a musical noise to my left, and I calm a little, taking in Henry four rows overplaying his God-forsaken recorder, as if a master musician.
For once, I’m actually glad to hear it. For once, it actually does feel like a sanctuary… that is until the train comes lurching back.
Chugga, Chugga — ugh, I hated that foreboding sound.
Why don’t I just leave this place? I think to myself.
I mean, that’s what Marissa in the 1940’s get-up always asks me. She visits her son a lot. Says he has a great time gardening in his old age these days. He plants tulips and daisies all the livelong day, when he used to deliver packages. What a bore that must have been.
I place my chin on my folded arms. I couldn’t just leave…how would I ever find my way back? What if someone actually came to see me, and I missed it?
No, I couldn’t risk it. I’ll stay right here, where my name actually means something — everything really.
Chugga, Chugga – I freeze, squeezing my eyes shut. It’s back. Just as it is every day.
“NO!” I yell. The train whistles loudly, and the ground vibrates as it gets closer and closer. It’s roaring in my ears, and I feel a sharp pain in my abdomen. I gasp, clutching at my stomach. I try to breath, to count. It should be over in 6, 5, 4… Chugga, Chugga… 3, 2, phew — it’s done. The tears on my cheeks evaporate, mist on a cold wind. That’s all anyone would think it was anyway. The whistling faintly calls out to me in the distance, no doubt promising to be back tomorrow.
I can hear the bouncing of the ball again and that infuriating recorder. I open my eyes to the looming stature of an empathizing Jesus once again.
Helga, with a bandage perpetually wrapped around her head, appears in front of me.
“You know that won’t stop, right?”
“Ah, Helga, leave me alone.”
“It won’t stop until you fix it.”
“Whatever you messed up before walking onto that platform.”
“Oh, Helga that’s a myth. I am staying right here.”
Helga rolls her shiny, dull eyes and moves away.
“For God’s sake, I’m not going anywhere,” I yell and roll over. “I can’t. I’m dead.” I stare at my name written in stone right under the statue of Jesus.
I can hardly hear myself think over the sounds of my secretary opening and closing the cabinets, shoving things in places they probably don’t go. I wonder if she lost one of my files but doesn’t want to admit it. I breathe a sigh of relief when I see that the office TV is still on football replays, but I know it won’t last. The thought of seeing Christine Ford’s face projected onto the huge flat screen TV, and worse, of hearing the comments that will follow, makes my skin crawl. I try to twist open my pen and it slides across my clammy hands, which is when I look down and notice that I’m sweating through my button down.
I walk past the TV again towards the microwave. Great. The channel already changed. People are starting to gather. My face feels hot. My vision grows blurry. I have a sudden burst of anxious energy pumping through my chest. Kind of like when you’re lost and your phone is on 1% battery and you start to imagine everything that could go wrong if you can’t find your way and have no way of getting in touch with anyone. “God. I can’t even look at a single man in the office right now. It’s like I feel a sense of betrayal from half of humankind” I overhear Allison say, as footage of Kavanaugh’s red teary-eyed face stares back at me.
The lump in my throat grows. She’s right. But she’s wrong. I scroll through Facebook, mindlessly moving my thumb, hoping for anything to replace the thoughts pummeling through my mind. “Men who speak up years after priests assault them are called brave. Women who speak up are called crazy. Believe survivors.” A friend of mine shared that one. There were dozens of comments. The first one said “Get this garbage off my timeline. The priests aren’t politicians or potential Supreme Court justices. She’s just trying to ruin a career.” I slammed my laptop closed in disgust. Am I not brave because I’m afraid that I’m admitting I’m a survivor will make me less of a man?
Lucas’s result has been submitted for publication.