Voices of wisdom

by | Aug 10, 2009 | Musings | 2 comments

What a cozy place the Sitting Room in Cotati is: bookshelves everywhere, comfy chairs, nooks just right for reading, writing, reflecting. I was there yesterday, one of six women enrolled in “Wisdom has a voice: Daughters remember mothers,” a writing workshop led by Kate Farrell and Lynn Cook Henriksen.

Lynn Cook Henriksen and Kate Farrell

Lynn Cook Henriksen and Kate Farrell

Farrell and Henriksen are both published authors who share an interest in  preserving women’s stories, particularly those about their mothers. Their stated goal for the workshop was to “create a workshop environment that allows for the authentic sharing, reflection and writing of a significant memory of each attendee’s mother that then becomes a keepsake memoir.”

With specific outcomes leading to the goal also clearly stated, they managed to pack a lot into just two hours while maintaining a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. They applied their experience with meditation, the Kolb Learning Cycle (which assists people in reflecting up and drawing meaning from their concrete life experiences), listening and telling, and writing to help participants move from having no idea what to write about to having a draft of an arresting, short memoir.

I wholeheartedly endorse this duo. Each participant’s unique voice came through, and the knowledge that everything shared there would be kept private created a great deal of safety for creativity to emerge.

Walking the trail to the Sitting Room in Cotati

Walking the trail to the Sitting Room in Cotati

If Farrell and Henriksen were so inclined, they could branch out to offer workshops on all kinds of relationships: for siblings, spouses, lovers, friends and colleagues, perhaps. But they are doing a bang up job of following their hearts into the mother/daughter lode. And more power to them.

For more information about the presenters, visit http://redwoodwriters.blogspot.com.




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2 Comments

  1. Lynn Henriksen

    Dear Laura – It was a true pleasure having you in our Wisdom Workshop on Saturday. I loved every minute of it – what a great group of women connecting, supporting, remembering, writing, listening, and sharing intimate stories of their mothers.

    It was sincerely an honor to be a part of a group where each woman gave so much of herself.

    Thank you and hope to see you soon. You know how to reach me, and I’d welcome hearing from you.

  2. Kate Farrell

    Dear Laura,

    Thanks for a wonderful commentary about “our” workshop; it really belonged to all of us! I so appreciate your storytelling background in the process of writing memoirs. I hope that we can work together in the future in some capacity.

    And I love the photo you captured, the Sitting Room shelves with smiles.

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