Blood + Belonging
 ::an ancestral writing workshop::
10.18.18 thru 11.15.18
$500
:::REGISTRATION IS CLOSED:::

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{payment plans + limited scholarships available}

diving deep into relations with ancestral wisdom and grief

 connecting these stories to ourselves, each other + the earth



We all belong here. We do.

But I find it worthy to further inquiry this belonging :: 

What do we belong to? To whom? Who belongs to us?  What doesn't belong to us that we claim as ours?  How is belonging ownership? How is belonging freedom? How has this belonging given us the identity we carry? 

This is an ancestral writing course for those who believe that their entire existence is a living piece of art, with multitudes of pieces, with nuance and gesture. This is a writing workshop to explore how we have gotten to here, all the layered narratives of that path, what "here" actually means.  What coming from Ancestors and Becoming Ancestors actually mean to us.

We have an army of ancestral energy behind us and within us, and our stories, our begining-ness, our belonging,  are worth re-membering, worth writing, worth questioning.

Because our stories are medicine.

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Blood + Belonging is a course for those who want to dig deeper into personal and cultural epigenetics, into the hard and profound stories of ancestry, of given and chosen identities.

It's a space to practice writing these stories in both grief and joy. We will discuss how the stories of the past have created the stories of now, and how we can freely and creatively give to the stories of the future.

I believe our ancestors are *just us* ::  these bodies, these cells, this blood, holding memory, holding longing, holding secrets, holding art, holding the medicine we must bring here. We get to be the next expression of a very ancient history. In this course we will  artistically and creative express questions + devotions, to this life, to understanding who we are. All the men and women that dwell within us, all of the particles of the earth that make us up.  We will explore how we belong to ourselves and to the stories we must pass on.

Identity is a complex and beautiful creature. It is art, it is presenting and receiving. It is creating and redefining. It is antidote and it is weight.  It is not who we are. And yet it is everything. It has both been passed down to us and placed upon us. It is what we often hide, internally oppress, and cut up into pieces to burn. It is all the ways we can be all our ways. It is imprint. 

Identity is our truth, both the delight and the darkness, living together. 

So we will create space for this::

Who are we now and who we have been and who we are longing to be. Witnessing our part in the world while respecting blood and the belonging of each and every one of us. 

How can we walk in both apology and forgiveness for what we have belonged to, what has belonged to us? How can we offer ourselves and our art up for what has been taken, what we have been a part of taking, how we have been taken from? How can we re-claim all that we have traded in, the things and pieces of ourselves we want back?

This course is more than just uncovering and writing about ancestors. It's about how we connect to the deeper stories of humanity, the deepest stories of the self.

It is about the blood we carry. How we are the cells, the mountains, the sustenance and pain of our people. How we are the salt of seas that have been crossed. How we may be betraying our ancestral wisdom on the daily: to fit in, to stay small, to stay obedient, to stay good, to stay safe. And how have we neglected to take responsibility for our ancestors- their wars, their colonization, their choices.  How we also do not have to hold their stories as our own. How can be the living reformation, and make new beauty, bring a new force of joy. How can we honor where we come from to heal that path that is forging forward? We all have ancestors. In most cultures, working with them is an essential.

 Photo taken of a random shrine in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicilia, IT.

Photo taken of a random shrine in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicilia, IT.

In this writing workshop we will investigate:: 

*What is belonging and how it can actually translate into *be in longing*?

*What it means to be of those who have been burned + buried?

* What must we ask forgiveness for? 

*How do we live in apology?

*How can we connect to Earth through our ancestors as a living entity?

*How does our  bio-regions, culture, family, economics, privilege, food, and our descendants create our living stories?

*What is the revolution of cell + seed and what are the epigenetics of both?

*What we have traded in? What did our ancestors trade in? And for what and whom?

*How can we gently place our grief back into the earth; in ritual, in devotion, in reformation?  How can we create compost for what is to come?

*What is the story of your future ancestry?

*We will explore culture, appropriation, sexuality, justice, birth + death, and leave wide open space for all the things in between.

Even if you have no ties to your ancestry, this is still a writing course for you. You are a part of the earth, our original ancestor. You are human, you are here, and your cells are in the process of r/evolution. The no-ties, the cut ties, the lost ties... are some of the most important stories to tell and be heard. 

We will allow conversation to be born and inspire us to write.

We will all show up for the rage | pain | joy | grief | celebration. We will honor each other's story. We will grieve with them. We will never fix. We will never insert. We will listen. And. We will write. And write more.  

All creators are invited to this course. No level of writing or ancestral work necessary. This is for you, a human, by me, another human. This is a place to explore both wisdom and poverty. Of what we have. Of what we have lost.

**The only requirements:: To know this work is a PRIVILEGE. To acknowledge and to be very cool with confronting WHITENESS + COLONIZATION. And to be willing to allow other's stories be silently held, without consult, advice, or insertion of your own story. Simple. And also. Sometimes not.**

 how people live in Polina, Sicila, IT.

how people live in Polina, Sicila, IT.

MaryBeth’s workshop lit a fire in me to mine my own dna, ancestry, life story to create art, write, begin to be-long to me own family. She brought prompts that created stirrings within me that grew into powerful roots for future stories, poems and maybe even a book. There was magic, deep sharing and honesty.
— A.Y. || Blood + Belonging participant from Niagara Falls, NY

This course will hold space for :: 

* personal narrative, poetry, prose, fiction and all the things nameless and unable to label or define.

*this is a creative writing workshop, we will not critique or work on form. There will be space to share our writing and ask questions, but it will be held with respect and with clear listening tools.

*coming together as writers, as humans, as those who are recording the world right now, and examining the kind of imprint we are leaving, the kind of imprint left upon us.

Let's write the stories of our bones and cell, of seeds and mountains, as we are here, of flesh and of dirt, we are here from blood, and we belong. We belong here. We all do, just as we are, from whomever we came from. 

And also :: we can all do better, for each other, for this Earth. We must.

:::DETAILS:::

 10/18 thru 11/18

Investment:
$500 payment plans and scholarships available

How:
weekly live 1-2 hour zoom call. These calls will be the meat of the workshop where we write + share our writing. Weekly emails delivered + videos and writing support.

Magic:
we will be supported fully; in writing, ritual, creating ancestral plant medicine, and all the things that come up when we look into our blood and beyond our blood. We will let our ancestores guide us, as we re-story, find story, finding meaning -in ourselves, in this world. 

::BONUS:: a full booklet / journal delivered to you via the real mail with your weekly writing themes.

 part walkway part portal, Polina, Sicila, IT.

part walkway part portal, Polina, Sicila, IT.

Because it is important for there to be intimacy - I am only opening spots for 22 folks. So limited spots.

:<>:A B O U T  M E :<>:
 

I am a writer and creative human who believes that art, in all forms, is here to liberate and save us from despair. Self expression is hope.  I believe in the necessity of making art about the things that cause us great pain, make us ecstatic, and bring us life. I believe writing is one of the most powerful and profound forms of art. I do not believe in rules around creation. My joy and purpose is in holding space for others to write and express themselves, to create stories, and to liberate their voices through commitment and practice. 

I have also spent the last decade diving deeply into ancestral work; storytelling, culture reclaiming, and honoring the history before immigration/assimilation, and even before that, and before even that.

 I do believe that if we desire to connect with our past blood, near and far, we can do better in the present, we can learn, reform, celebrate, and experience deeper wisdom, meaning.  I have learned so much about creation, passion, love, anger, trauma, and injustice by digging deep into my own histories. It has helped me become taken with challenging worldviews,  cultural views, and brought me deep into the decolonization process in myself.  I consider myself a Mediterranean Animist with folk Catholic ritualisms and I am an advocate for our interconnectivity,  of ancestral wisdom and traditions - for all people. 

I have an *almost* MFA from Antioch University in creative non-fiction with a pedagogy, but got pregnant - and considering it almost impossible for a pregnant women/mother to finish grad school, I dropped out one semester short to have my first daughter. BUT. Becoming a mother transformed my writing and my life, it is one of my most beloved belongings, to be here for them, to belong to them, to be part of their story.  On this journey I became a copywriter, midwife, yoga teacher, herbalist, screenplay writer, writing teacher, + tarot reader/intuitive/ guide. I teach workshops online and in-person. 

I am currently writing a book with the working title ::  Of Blood + Belonging, which is inspired by my magical and deeply complex Sicilian ancestry, my pilgrimage to my ancestral land, the connection between spirit and food and the trading-in of culture, connection + relations for whiteness, capitalism + The American Dream. It is a hybrid, a memoir {of sorts}.

I am beyond joyful to write with you. 

xx

MaryBeth

 me, on top of the Madonna dell'Alto in the Madonie Mountains, Sicilia, IT.

me, on top of the Madonna dell'Alto in the Madonie Mountains, Sicilia, IT.

***If you are interested in the payment plan option :: see below. 1 payment of $200 + 3 payments of $100 = $500

blood and belonging
Number of payments 4
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At checkout$200.00 USD
Every 1 month (x 3)$100.00 USD
Total $500.00 USD
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