At the heart of things
I think this ornamental kale is called “Red Heart Kale” though there is no truly red kale out there I am told.
At the heart of things, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It is still quite beautiful.
Yesterday, writing with the women in the Larimer County Detention Center, we wrote flash fiction. They wrote of first kisses under a thunderclap and chihuahua dogs dressed in skirts. They wrote of watching a rain-drenched sky disappear into the rear-view mirror, and of jumping a fence to steal a bicycle. I think little of it was fiction (okay, maybe the one about the woman who rode her bike to see her grandmother who was in prison for running HER over with a tricycle! But you really never know…)
At the heart of their writing was a desire to tell a story. In most cases it’s their own story, but I don’t think it really matters if we call it fiction, or flash fiction or narrative or confessional or Myrna or late for lunch. It is good writing. It comes from wishes to live, love, laugh and be heard. They read and applaud and sigh and giggle with each other. It is good, dignified interaction.
I don’t know why these women are detained. I am not sure I want to know. Through their writing they express remorse and hope and conviction to change. They express eagerness to feel the sun on their skin and to see their baby’s smile again. They use up a pen a week, and beg for more paper. They are told by the Program Director that the Larimer County Detention Center will happily provide them paper for creative writing but not for their love letters.
I think at the heart of things, everything they write is a love letter. To someone or some part of themselves.
I would give them reams if I could. Write your red hearts out. And call it good.