This Saturday I'm teaching an intimate creative writing workshop on Dystopian Lit at the renown Porch Writer's Collective.
Why Dystopian, River?
Well, it's like this. This past year has been an earth shaking year for me. I'm still finding my footing from the aftershocks. Like my post on Phoenix and rebirth Dystopian is a lot like that. It's about the end. Which brings us to begin again.
Fire. Smoke. Ashes to ashes. We plan and believe and we think our world is going to look like we expect it to when the new day arrives. But sometimes, life takes a dramatic turn. And it's not a new chapter because you are off. the. page. You wake to a different world. Not a new day but a new universe and you have to learn the language anew. Find the tribe, discover the culture. Not remember, not relearn but engage in a new language completely. This is the language of your new life. Every single day you will discover that you are farther and father away from your normal. Farther and farther away from your original expectations and deeper and deeper into the new place - the plain, the forest, the steampunk future - where you look down and see your feet.
Life can throw us wringers. Unexpected hurts and highways. Things that bring overnight radical changes that require us to be stronger than we are capable of being. To press on when we really feel like just lying down to die.
There we are after the fire. Wiped out ash covered and sifting through the remnants of our life, the smell of smoke still clinging to our clothes, our hair, our skins and that ruin will never go away. That scene of yesterday burned to the ground. No matter - at some point we have to turn our faces toward the road before us. To continue onward.
Sometimes we must walk through the fires of our past, the smoke of our present, to get to the other side. To the over and beyond and what's waiting. Because here's something I believe about life. Like Max Ehrmann said in Desiderata - with all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams - it's still a beautiful world.
I dare to teach a creative writing workshop inspired by (yes, that's the word) Dystopian lit because my experience has been that no matter what darkness falls in this sloppy, blessed life that with all its pain and purpose, bourbon and babies, biscuits and love - that hope springs eternal. After it all. In spite of it all. Still.
And always - we begin again.