Prose & Poem

Written by Kelly, from Camas, WA
A 2019 Winter Institute participant

A Writer is One Who Writes

In her book on the writing life, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott laments that at some point, a writer must start writing. To write. Is to write. Is to write. Making it a daily practice is a struggle for me. Daily reading, not so much. But WRITING? Yes. Journaling my way through devotional material has become the cornerstone of my spiritual practice. But WRITING writing? That has proven more elusive.

Perhaps it is because I came from a household of readers. Mom read. Dad read. In lawn chairs. And in over-stuffed recliners. Books were both candy and vegetables. But writing? Even though my mother was an English teacher, I don’t ever recall watching her write.

Writing has been something I have had to pioneer on my own.

And even at this age, I am still finding my way.

Did I come to it late? Or move away? Or have I always written - but just in an unrecognizable way? Does reflective writing count? Or must it be something else? What about emails? Lesson plans. Proposals. Conferencing notes. Assessments. Anecdotal records. I live among words. I write. Daily. But I am not sure I would call myself a writer. Not yet anyway.

But I now know I would like to.

My Name

My name means warrior woman.

I come from a long line of many.

Women who crossed oceans.


And deserts.

Who milked cows.

Walked fences.

And stretched ration cards and paychecks.

Who took in laundry.

Worked part time jobs.

And bought clothes for form and function.

These are the women who graduated from high school.

Or got GEDs.

Who then sent their daughters to college.

These are the women who lived alongside addiction

But decided it stopped with them.

Mothers. Aunts. Sisters. Daughters.



Fighting with a lunch box.

And a degree.