A Journey by Evelyn Apte (Memoir)
My Mother by Mary Lu Everett (Memoir)
A First Friend by Margaret Kokka (Memoir)
New York City To WHERE? by Marion Bar-Din (Memoir)
The Consolation Of Solitude by Pat Gallagher (Commentary)
Dog goD (the palindrome) by Carl Kopman (Poetry)
Yet, My Heart Sings by Peggy Phillips (Commentary)
Things I Wish They Had Told Me by Marjorie Roth (Memoir)
Why I Write by Jerry Gray 1935 – 2020 (Commentary)
Selected Portraits from a Life of Travels by Robert Apte 1924 – 2019 (Photography)
Who are we? What has brought us together? Why, and for whom, do we write? What have we learned? Why and how does it matter?
Thirteen years ago in 2008 several of us took a class called “Writing Deeper” at UC Berkeley Extension. When the course ended we wanted to continue this practice of prompted writing as a way to keep ourselves writing and to mine whatever truths the prompts engendered. We were all over sixty years old at the time, mostly retired, and it was the period in our lives when we had time to do it. We had all led busy professional lives as teachers, administrators, lawyers, psychotherapists. We had all written reams of reports, cases, documents, grants, but we had not written our own stories, our own lives. We had long been in service to others. It was now time to look inward.
A year ago, no longer able to meet in person because of the pandemic Shelter-in-Place order, we moved to the Zoom platform, where we continue to gather every Friday to read what we’ve written in response to the prompts. This enforced withdrawal from the activities of our pre-pandemic lives has given us sustained time to reflect, remember and record what is important to us now, here. Each piece, however distinct, reveals something lost, something gained.
We write for ourselves – to find our truths. We write for our children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren so that they too will know who we are and perhaps find in our stories some of what makes them who they are. We write to learn. We write to discover. We write because we must.