Washing dishes on a cold Tuesday morning 

The beauty of bowls stacked in the sink
last night’s soup still clinging
to the rims of nestled vessels

Cuppings of containment

Some formed by two hands in basements and garages
others in anonymized factories by machines
and people whose work no longer looks or feels
like craft

Last night four friends ate hot soup in the cold garage
both doors thrown open to the evening
still wary of breathing unventilated
shared air

Huddled on lawn furniture under blankets and hats
fairy lights strung from the rafters
among the rakes and bulbs
cardboard and buckets

Remembering back through the years
together and apart
before and after
afraid and secure
ruptured and repaired

Remembering and forgetting
and remembering again

Mercifully woven together with hot lentil soup
and salad grown in the backyard

This morning tiny shreds of carrots like confetti
floated to the surface as the bowls filled with warm water

Waiting to be wiped clean
and put away empty
ready for the next filling

It began

It began when your mother was born with the seed of you already in her body.

It began with mitochondria before we called them mitochondria.

Before we called anything anything at all.

It began when we began feeling roots under the ground.

It began when you first heard her say;

“I forgive you.

For what?

For all of it.”

It began in the forest. It began in the ocean.

It began in the heart of a long-dead star.

It began in your great-grandmother’s great grandmother’s kitchen.

It began with the unborn babies.

It began when you started having sex.

It began when you first started feeling unlovable;

alone, angry in your narrow bed, howling at the wall,

counting the cracks in the ceiling.

It began with a dysregulated nervous system.

It began with an exorcism.

It began with a monster in the closet,

under the bed, under the stairs, in the next room.

It began with the flip of a switch, the parting of the sea,

the burning of the witches and fairies and queers.

It began with the building of the first fortress,

the first storehouse, the first horde.

It began in the headwaters that can never be found.

It began in a watershed.

It began with a big bang. It began with an earthworm.

It began with a singer singing her first song.

It began with a soup pot and a wooden spoon.

It began with bones and thistles.

It began with surviving the longest winter.

It began with renaming mountains and stars.

It began with toes and fingers and perfect heartbreak.

It began with your mother dying.

It began with firetrucks, night terrors, fireflies.

It began with leaving in order to be able to stay.

It began with an inbreath.

It began. It began. It began.

I write

I write to tell the stories that have been hiding in my body since before I was born. I write to tell the stories that got stuck in my throat. I write to say the things I couldn’t let myself feel when my body was a silent electric song of danger, danger, remember this for later. I write because I swallowed the story of my life and fed its urgent hunger every night. I write myself out of the dark, digging my way down and back to the surface because someone remembers our life depends on it. I write myself back into the night garden to sit among the roots reaching up from below to say hello. I write to remember this body as the ground beneath and I look up from the page to remember the cedar tree as myself as well. I write because I came to worship the words on the page and the breathing of the trees as variations of the same song. I write to remember that the trees breathed us into being so we could sing the story of the universe to itself. I write to remember ourselves home.


January 2021

CLASS FULL!!! write with me on the untamed page

Six Sundays: Jan 10, 17, 24, 31 and Feb 7, 14 3 – 4:30 pm Pacific Time. (9 hours of class time)

Cost: sliding scale/pay what you can ***$90-$180 suggested range***  Payment plans available

To Register:

email me at dingdangdoodle@gmail.com to let me know you want to join the class. Use the subject line “Untamed Page”

send payment either by paypal https://www.paypal.me/mikalina

or Venmo username @Mikalina-Remembers

Include your name and email address in the payment comments so I know where to send the zoom link.

I’ll send you a confirmation email when I receive your payment and a zoom link the day before class.

What we’ll do:

We’ll gather, a small group of six of us in a zoom room, Brady Bunch style, each of us in our little boxes. We’ll start promptly at 3 pm.

First we’ll sit

We’ll sit in quiet meditation for three to five minutes, connecting to our breath and our body, coming into ourselves, taking note of what’s here, making space for ourselves and our writing practice. 

Writing practice

I’ll read a poem out loud twice while you sit and listen. The first time I read the poem, relax into it, let the words wash over you. I’ll offer some jump-off lines and prompts and then you’ll get to hear the poem again, listening for what comes up for you, hearing your first lines hit the page.

Then we’ll write together for ten minutes, keeping our hands moving the entire time, letting go of the idea of getting it right and getting curious about what’s actually here. What’s waiting to be said, discovered, remembered, revealed within us.

After we write we read out loud, one by one, listening to each other without commentary or feedback, just presence and witness. We offer gratitude hands or sparkle fingers when each writer is finished reading and we’re off to the next writer. And yes, you can always take a pass reading out loud. But you probably won’t want to.

We’ll do three short writes and read alounds over the hour and a half of class.

About this practice​

​This practice is a great way to “crack open” the writing mind. It’s a way to start to set yourself free from the inner critic; to get to know yourself better as a writer, and as a human being. It feels good — even when it feels kinda bad. ​​When we do this practice in a group, we become a community, a circle, witnesses to each other. This practice helped me reclaim and develop my voice, to remember ​​that I am a writer who writes. ​​What will this practice do for you? Come find out!

This is a practice that comes from a lineage of many writers. My teachers include Laurie Wagner of 27 Powers, whom I’ve written with weekly for six years. Natalie Goldberg is the matriarch of this type of writing practice. I’ve taken online workshops from Natalie, and read her incredible books on writing.  My mother first gave me her 1986 book Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. All the writers I’ve written with over the years who told me to keep going, they are my forever teachers too.