During these strange times Connecting Generations, like everything else has adapted to new circumstances in surprising, challenging and exciting new ways.
Conversation Cafes with 4 community volunteers have been held weekly with some of our international students who have returned home and some who remain locked down here on Salt Spring. With more regular opportunities to connect with students whom we previously met in the classroom just twice a month, it feels as though we have established a closer connection, despite the fact that we have not been able to meet face-to-face. It has been interesting to hear how COVID effects lives in China and Japan and how students who have stayed here appreciate the safety they find on Salt Spring instead of the sometimes chaotic situation at home…
Our intergenerational Writers’ Group has blossomed and expanded into another weekly meeting for those editing the ongoing stories they began in the Fall. We meet once a week in response to a prompt, write in silence together and then share our writing with one another. On another afternoon we join the group online to edit our stories/novella/novels. Without COVID we might not have tackled this project and seen it to its completion. Despite technological challenges resulting in migration from one online platform to another, and infinite patience and persistence on the part of participants, we continue to count on both of our virtual gatherings as a place to share and support one another.
The best thing that COVID-19 has given me are the tools to realise potential. My time and my ideas have always been limitless, but there’s always some missing link, some excuse to just leave it for later and not get it done. After months of nothing but free time and ideas, I started a little story for fun- and enjoyed it so much that I kept writing, and edited it, and finished it. Suddenly I had a finished story on my hands. That had never really happened before.
In Writers’ Group, I have been writing a much longer story since September, but it never seemed to have an end in sight. A complete project seems like an abstract concept, hidden and unreachable behind schoolwork and a lack of motivation.
It took me those long, long months of isolation to learn how to work in pieces. All I need to think about is what I’m writing now and what I will write next. Build it up in little pieces of inspiration- stack half-an-hour sessions of dreaming in a Google Doc on top of each other and you’ll wind up with enough to edit, and so the finish line materialises, bit by bit.
I practice with little, week-long projects where I place the finish line close and easy. I have sewn a shirt, I have painted a portrait, I have hewn a carving, and now I shall write a book. Page by careful, joyful, page, I will build something, and I will finish it. Wish me luck.
We wish Bella luck, and Aidan too and Keila who will re-join us for our summer gatherings having felt quite “Zoomed-out” during the last few weeks. The Writers’ and Editing Group are open for business for the first time ever during the summer months, continuing by popular demand.
Writers’ Group prompt June 17th:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” Anais Nin.
So today let your character bloom, do something that is a risk, makes them step out of their comfort zone, do something that people wouldn’t expect of them.
And that is what we have been doing!
Coordinator, Connecting Generations Program