Toni Amato is Right, As Usual

The new writing group met last night for the first time. I’ve done my best to appear confident about this new venture, but anyone who knows me well knows the turmoil of the waters beneath the placid surface. Facilitating workshops is not new to me — I’ve done it in various venues and for various years for more than 20 years — but this particular project lies quite close to my heart. Fear of failure and fear of success dogged my steps in the months leading up to its opening.

I feel particularly grateful for the love and support of my two teachers: Toni, who first challenged me to consider the possibility of starting a workshop similar to his, but on the opposite side of the Boston hub. He’s provided support both practical and spiritual — and will no doubt continue to as my own confidence waxes and wanes. And Barbara, whose workshop sparked the necessity of finding a place to generate new stones to polish and polish under her guidance. She said to me, “My first workshop was two friends who were there for free, and one person who paid $40.” That was 30 years ago, and 125 books and countless journal publications have emerged from her workshop since.

This time last week, I was reciting a litany of fears to Toni, and he responded — as he often does — that the universe would give me just what I needed, moment by moment. Last night, that was a small group which merged effortlessly. And a group decision to focus on generating works of poetry, the form I am concentrating on myself.  In three hours we worked four different prompts, and by the end of the evening we felt expansive and full of possibilities.

We meet again in two weeks, when two more new members will join us. We have space for a few more, but whether the group stays small or expands to capacity, I’m sure the universe will provide just what is needed.

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