ONE DAY WORKSHOPS IN NY, CALIFORNIA, OREGON + VANCOUVER, BC.

ONE DAY WORKSHOPS IN NY, CALIFORNIA, OREGON + VANCOUVER, BC.


We belong here. We all do. 

So before you go any further, know this: you belong here. And so does your art. 

I do find it worthy for further inner inquiry around this belonging :: 

What do we belong to? To whom? Who belongs to us?  What doesn't belong to us that we claim as ours? What strongholds us that is not ours to hold? How is belonging ownership? How is belonging freedom? How has this belonging given us the identity we carry? 

This is a writing workshop for those who believe that their entire existence is a living piece of art, with multitudes of pieces, with nuance and gesture. This is a writing workshop to explore how we have  gotten to here, all the layered narratives of what that path is and what "here" means. We have an army of ancestral energy behind us and within us, and our stories, our beingingness, our belonging,  are beginingness, are worth re-membering, worth writing, worth questioning.

Because our stories are medicine.


Blood + Belonging is a workshop for those who want to dig deeper into personal and cultural epigenetics, into the hard and profound stories of ancestry, of given and chosen identities. It's a space to practice writing these stories in both shadow and joy. We will discuss how the stories of the past have created the stories of now, and how we can freely and creatively give to the stories of the future.

I believe our ancestors are *just us* ::  these bodies, these cells, this blood, holding memory, holding longing, holding secrets, holding art, holding the medicine we must bring here. We get to be the next expression of a very ancient history. We will artistically explore how we can be devoted, to this life, to understanding who we are, all the men and women that dwell within us, all of the particles of the earth that make us up, and explore how we belong to ourselves and to the stories we must pass on.

Identity is a complex and beautiful creature. It is art, it is presenting and receiving. It is creating and redefining. It is antidote and it is weight.  It is not who we are. And it is everything. It has both been past down to us, and placed upon us. It is what we often hide, internally oppress, and cut up into pieces to burn. It is all the ways we can be all our ways. It is imprint. 

Identity is our truth, both the delight and the darkness, living together. 

So mostly we will create space for this:

Who are we now and who we have been and who we are longing to be. Witnessing our part in the world while respecting blood and the belonging of each and every one of us. How can we walk in both apology and forgiveness for what we have belonged to, what has belonged to us? How can we offer ourselves and our art up for what has been taken, what we have been a part of taking, how we have been taken from? How can we re-claim all that we have traded in, the things and pieces of ourselves we want back?

I almost called these writing workshops ancestral alchemy, but I feel that simplifies how layered it all is. It's more than just uncovering and writing about ancestors. It's about how we connect to the deeper stories of humanity, the deepest stories of the self. It is about the blood we carry. How we are the cells, the mountains, the sustenance and pain of our people. How we are the salt of seas that have been crossed. How we may be betraying our ancestral wisdom on the daily: to fit in, to stay small, to stay obedient, to stay good, to stay safe. And how have we neglected to take responsibility for our ancestors- their wars, their colonization, their choices.  How we also do not have to hold their stories as our own. How can be the living reformation, and make new beauty, bring a new force of joy.

In this writing workshop we will investigate:: 

*Belonging and how it can actually translate into *be longing*.  

*What it means to be of those who have been burned + buried.

*What we carry as humans: What do we drag? What must we ask forgiveness for? How do we live in apology? How can we see ourselves and make better art by facing our ancestors, by reclaiming pieces of lost humanity? To write truth around what has been done-both the beauty and the mess.

*Being of Earth, as a living entity.

*How we are connected to ::  bio-regions, culture, family, economics, privilege, food, our children, our ancestors- near and far- the bloodlines that have brought us here in creation.

*Our identities, the ones we claim and the ones that have been claimed for us.

*The revolution of cell + seed and the epigenetics of both.

*What we have traded in. What our ancestors traded in. And for what.

*The things we want to place gently back on the earth, in devotion and reformation. 

*What will become compost through bones into the earth and will be passed on as we become the ancestors of the future. 

*The story of your future ancestry.

*Culture, appropriation, sexuality, justice, grief, birth + death and leave wide open space for all the things in between.

Even if you have no ties to your ancestry, this is still a writing workshop for you. You are a part of the earth, you are human, you are here, and your cells are in the process of revolution. The no-ties, the cut ties, the lost ties... are some of the most important stories to tell and be heard. 

We will allow conversation to be born and inspire us to write. We will write. And write more. 

This will be a casual workshop where all creators are invited, whether you are deep into your book or you just want to write, to be community, and get some time and space for yourself and your words, to have deeper and layered conversation about being human in this time, and release the energy, to get closer to the things you feel and want to say.

This workshop will hold space for :: 

* personal narrative, poetry, prose, fiction and all the things nameless and unable to label or define.

*this is a creative writing workshop, we will not critique or work on form. There will be space to share our writing and ask questions, but it will be held with respect and with clear listening tools.

*coming together as writers, as humans, as those who are recording the world right now, and examining the kind of imprint we are leaving, the kind of imprint left upon us.

Let's write the stories of our bones and cell, of seeds and mountains, as we are here, of flesh and of dirt, we are here from blood, and we belong. We belong here. We all do, just as we are, from whomever we came from. 

And also :: we can all do better, for each other, for this Earth. We must.

 

:D E T A I L S :

 

Where:
[click on each city for more information]
Niagara Falls, NY
Orange County, CA
Portland, OR
Vancouver, BC {coming soon}
Northern California {coming soon}


What to bring:
notebook and pen + laptop or whatever you like to write with. 


snacks || drinks || workbook || full support in writing {and a relaxing ancestral meditation} provided.

 

:<>:A B O U T  M E :<>:
 

I am a writer and creative human who believes that art, in all it's forms are here to liberate and save us from despair. Self expression is hope.  I believe in the necessity of making art about the things that cause us great pain, make us ecstatic, and bring us life. I believe writing is one of the most powerful and profound forms of art. I do not believe in rules around creation. My joy and purpose is in holding space for others to write and express themselves, to create stories, and to liberate their voices through commitment and practice.  I have also spent the last decade diving deeply into ancestral work; storytelling, culture reclaiming, and honoring the history before immigration/assimilation. I do believe that if we desire to connect with our past blood, we can do better in the present, we can learn, reform, celebrate, and feel connected. When we are connected, we are more benevolent humans. I have learned so much about creation, passion, love, anger, trauma, and injustice by digging deep into my own histories.

I have an *almost* MFA from Antioch University in creative non-fiction with a pedagogy, but got pregnant - and considering it almost impossible for a pregnant women/mother to finish grad school, I dropped out one semester short to have my first daughter. BUT. Becoming a mother transformed my writing and my life, it is one of my most beloved belongings, to be here for them, to belong to them, to be part of their story.  On this journey I became a copywriter, midwife, yoga teacher, herbalist, screenplay writer, writing teacher, + tarot reader/intuitive coach/ guide. I teach workshops online and in-person. 

I am currently writing a book with the working title ::  Of Blood + Belonging, which is inspired by my magical and deeply complex Sicilian ancestry, my pilgrimage to my ancestral land, the connection between spirit and food and the trading-in of culture, connection + relations for whiteness, capitalism + The American Dream.

I am beyond joyful to write with you. 

xx

MaryBeth