For me it was reentry into a beloved sisterhood I had almost given up as lost. There we were – hugging and kissing cheeks and telling each other how wonderful we look. Women do all of that when we are overjoyed to see one another.
We were not just a love fest however. We were also a convocation of women who write. A convocation that might easily have fallen apart – and nearly did – before this joyful moment could happen.
Instead we were together again at a gathering aptly titled ReNEW the Magic organized by Cynthia Fritts Stillwell the new executive director of the International Women’s Writing Guild along with her staff and Board of Directors.
The setting for this happy reunion and fresh start could hardly have been lovelier – the gracious Gilded Age mansion that houses the National Arts Club in Manhattan facing onto Gramercy Park where cherry blossoms bloomed and tulips waved in spring sunlight.
Please pardon my gush. I have been a member of IWWG – the Guild as many of us call it – since 1978 when I attended my first Guild summer conference at Skidmore College which also happened to be the first writers’ gathering I had ever attended anywhere.
Right there in public – among strangers no less – I revealed with much trepidation my deep desire to write. I even admitted my fear that I lacked sufficient imagination to fulfill this desire. I was embraced and encouraged in return and that encouragement made all the difference.
Everything that has happened to me since professionally was set in motion that sultry summer as sisters I had not known I needed set my feet on the path I was meant to pursue.
My travels in the years from then to now have taken many turnings and my Guild sisters have been with me through every one – as I have been with them. We are a community and we clasp each other close even as we rush or stumble toward our private goals.
Recently the Guild danced along a precipice as can happen periodically with organizations. Strong hands and stubborn hearts prevented it – and us – from tumbling over. This past weekend across from sunny Gramercy Park a gathering of women who write reaped the benefits of that struggle.
I am profoundly grateful to have been among them. A precious piece of community was ReNEWed and my own writer’s soul was refreshed.
I invite you to join me and my IWWG sisters to be similarly renewed refreshed embraced and encouraged as we step together into a newly Guilded Age. Find out more at www.iwwg.org. You will glad you did.