It was Mothers’ Day this year, May 10. I was in the company of eccentric people like myself. Some of them write for a living. Others teach. The rest just write. But all share a passion that seems closeted by their busy worlds. Their hands know what it means to touch a pen (or a pencil), and know how letters and words forming are a phenomenon of terror and liberation. Often they will, in their own level of courage, open a Pandora’s box, to exorcise all their demons through words, and to wait the rise of their true muse.
“What is this power?” I read these words on Ime’s post with reverence and mystery, aware of how her question evokes the animistic call of writing. FLOW, the writing group she founded that day, is where this power flows. We get together not just to put words on paper and make them available for readers. In fact, the need for readers is secondary. We are neither here to bloat the writer’s ego. Rather, we come here to kill the Buddha on the road: to write together and tread an internal path – to walk on in this perilous journey, in the middle way of life.
That was the noble intention. Ime and Belai are mothers from different generations, and Love for them is less fancy than visceral. Maitri is the the Sanskrit grandparent of words “mother” and “lovingkindness”. Etymologically inseparable. These women have come together in goodwill, archetype bearers of Mother’s Love. They have come to seek the sacrament of radical confession, to hear and accept each other’s voice, and share the soul of writing.
Beneath, we commune in the wordlessness, the collective unconscious of words, the potential of being.
This was the beginning. The last 5 months are nothing short of a miracle. The principles of the universe are all at work. New fellow writers – FLOWers, as we call each other – come each month. We write and share something. We leave after and yet some darkness has left us. We arrive and radiate our light, and bring them back when we meet again. We have learned how to FLOW – to unfold our spirit like a never-ending cascade of words leaping upon paper with so much joy and freedom.
Never mind the unforgotten pasts. Never mind the scars of wounded memories. This is the high time of writing. We are here not to struggle for fine-crafted results, but to enter a process, a sort of nirvana that makes the act of writing a dharma we can own.
This is FLOW – For the Love of Writing. Two of the most powerful words in my spiritual journey are here: Love and Writing. At the surface, each meetup we write, laugh, eat and tell stories. Beneath, we commune in the wordlessness, the collective unconscious of words, the potential of being. From there, writing is not anymore an art to refine or a technique to master. Writing becomes compassion, a virtue we long to shine in every relationship, whether at work or at home.
Yes, compassion shines in every FLOW. Everybody is welcome, writers or not. It is not in the label, identity or job position as a writer – but in the gentle whispering of it, if not a calling. Writing as compassion, as a virtue, permeates this space and holds the energy of those who come, to return to the deepest purpose of writing: the meeting of heart, hand, pen and paper. The way it is with the kyudo archer in union with his bow, arrow, and target. Flowing to realize oneness. Flowing to experience what it is to Love and be Loved.
To all FLOWers and future ones: Padayon, mga kadaloy!