#ippp: it’s all about the brambles, baby

– Posted in: #ippp, motherhood, writing workshop

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If you give a girl a pair of funky keens, chances are good she’ll ask for a pair of blue zebra striped socks to go with them.


As many of you know, I recently started co-leading a local writing workshop for women aimed at exploring each woman’s passage into motherhood and in turn embracing the new, emerging identity that is formed uniquely to a mama thereafter.

I was planning on our first writing workshop class kicking some booty and to put it mildly our first session, it kicked ass hardcore. I mean that in the most endearing and empowering way. We’ve already laughed and cried together and just barely have we started to peel back a few layers revealing something so soft and raw in each of us.

One exercise we did was called “What I want my words to do to you” based in part from that same titled documentary and a writing workshop led by Eve Ensler. In fifteen minutes or less we scrawled in our composition notebooks. We made lists or wrote the beginnings of poems. Our intentions. Our hearts’ hopes. Our wants for our words. And then we shared.

Here is what I shared with my group:


What I want my words to do to you

I want my words to take your breath from you. To squeeze your chest. To wring out your lungs.

To bend you without breaking. Unless, my dear, you break anyway.

I want my words to make you sigh with relief and exhaustion.


And I want you to question whether I’m being friendly.

I want my words to put a hand on top of your hand. To lie together with you.  And look in your eyes directly.

I want my words to pry our fingers from the railing. Pluck them one. by. one.

Until we’re both loose. Until we’re both hanging there. Until we are clinging to each other

like our lives depend upon it because our lives depend upon it.

I want my words to uplift you. And me. I want them to throw us backwards. Together.

I want to fall into darkness with my words and you. I want them to lead us into tight spaces. And scrapes. And brambles.

Into what’s been forgotten.

I want my words to call to you and then I want my words to wonder

what you will answer with in return.



What do you want your words to do?


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I'm a mom of five, wife to one, life-long Louisvillian. Six years ago I put down the key to my middle school classroom and picked up a camera instead. Now a pro photographer, writer and activist, I blog to share with you those passions and to spread good feelings through the words and pictures you find here.

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31 Comments… add one

February 6, 2013, 3:08 am

That’s AMAZING. I want to BE there. I want to write like you.
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Sarah February 6, 2013, 3:32 am

I tend to like your writing Greta :) and thanks. I’m sure one day we’ll meet up and kick it together :)

February 6, 2013, 3:27 am

Wow, Sarah, that is amazing!
Your words do all that and more!
I think for my word all I want is to let the true “me” shine through and to be heard. (It would also be nice if someone truly cared ;))
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Sarah February 6, 2013, 3:31 am

woman, that’s exactly what I’m getting at :) I want to be ME and I want everyone to say FINE DO THAT. Now, if only I didn’t care so much about that second part and I just did stuff anyway. No approval, you know? :)

February 6, 2013, 3:28 am

So very powerful. It would be so amazing to be part of that. I want my words find their way from my mind to my fingers, to my page. I want them to flow and speak and share. I love words. :)
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Sarah February 6, 2013, 3:39 am

you and me both Kim. my husband is a numbers person. he thinks in numbers. not me. it’s words all the way. i stink at math :) here’s to hoping my kids get the best of both worlds :)

Elaine A.
February 6, 2013, 4:08 am

Your words are amazing. And that workshop sounds so wonderful too. Like something I could really use. Can you bring it on down to the South, please? 😉
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:22 pm

Omygosh I would love to bring it down south! Maybe one day we’ll take this show on the road :)

Mama Pants
February 6, 2013, 4:15 am

Amazing. The shoes with the zebra socks are killer. Just killer. She’s a lady after my own heart, that girl.

And your words? So so powerful. That was really just…yes. Love it.

For me? I want my words to feel and breathe. I want them to break things open.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:23 pm

Love that, yes. I bet your words do BUST things wide open from time to time. I hope mine do that as well :)

Poppy February 6, 2013, 5:45 am

I hear your words louder than the stripe/floral combo. Love them.
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Katie E
February 6, 2013, 10:52 am

Love the shoes. And the socks. And your writing.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:31 pm

hee hee. I love those shoes too katie. they’re my current favorite :)

February 6, 2013, 2:47 pm

I would absolutely pair those shoes with zebra print socks. I would be happy if my words just made sense and were typo free. Although if they made people laugh and forget the heaviness in life, I’d be pretty happy with that too.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:32 pm

Yes, typo free would work for me too! even when i’m just updating a status. what can i say? fat fingers much?

February 6, 2013, 3:54 pm

Stunning, Sarah. I love the last 2 lines the most.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:33 pm

thank you Alison. I like that ending too :)

February 6, 2013, 7:32 pm

I echo all the other comments and the workshop does sound like such treat. Like you wrote so eloquently – I want my words to move people. React in someway.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:39 pm

i think that’s really what a lot of us want for our words. just to shake people if only a little. stir them into laughing or crying or something in between.

Galit Breen
February 7, 2013, 4:02 am


{You, that is.}
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February 7, 2013, 12:58 pm

You’ve inspired me to write about what I want my words to do. Maybe I’ll try to get to writing it in a few days.

I wish I was nearby to be in that workshop! I think I would love it!
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:34 pm

Oh do it! I’d love to read what you find out about your wants for your words. I would LOVE to have you in this workshop. It’s a good time.

Audrey February 7, 2013, 4:25 pm

Amazing! I love what you wrote and exactly how you wrote it! Oh and who doesn’t want to wear zebra socks with keens!
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:35 pm

exactly audrey! those loud keens demand equally loud socks :)

Larks (
February 7, 2013, 8:14 pm

That’s a great poem and a really cool idea for a writing exercise. I have no idea what I want my words to do for people but I bet they’d be a lot better if I took the time to figure that out. And what an adorable keens/socks combo!
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:37 pm

we had fun with the prompt. really, beforehand I hadn’t ever put into words what I was trying to do with them. Powerful stuff.

Jennifer February 8, 2013, 3:49 pm

Zulily had Keen’s on sale the other day and I bought Cady the cutest pair. Now I wish I had bought three more and a pair for myself as wel.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:36 pm

zulily is good for that! now you’ve got me feeling the need to go check out today’s deals :)

February 11, 2013, 2:02 am

Always love your words and the things they do. Always.
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Sarah February 11, 2013, 2:36 pm

thank you Tricia. The feeling is mutual :)

Runnermom-jen February 21, 2013, 5:12 pm

Your words are beautiful…I should do this exercise, I’m not sure what I want my words to do.

Sorry for ALL.THE.COMMENTS!! just catching up 😉
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