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Focusing and Poetry: One Poem—Many Stories

  • The Arlington Center (map)

"I am scorched to realize how many small, available things are in the world that aren't pieces of gold or power - that nobody owns or could buy even for a hillside of money - that just float about the world, or drift over the fields, or into the gardens...."  from Summer Story by Mary Oliver

In her powerful poem, Summer Story, Pulitzer Prize poet Mary Oliver shows how close attention to a cherished moment and her ongoing life story intersect. Through time together with this poem, we will practice Focusing's distinctive process that invites gentle awareness of what echoes inside. We will lean into this poem to deepen resonance with our own meaningful experiences. "Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us," wrote Oscar Wilde. Indeed, each of us is a collection of stories. With simple prompts, we will gather vivid details from our lives. What emerges may include nuances of experience to a special memory. No prior reading of poetry is necessary -- the instructor will provide the poem (and others if time allows); we will provide each other with an afternoon of rich reflection, stories, and conversation.


Sharon Heermance, Ph.D. is a psychologist with a private practice in Arlington, MA. She has studied Focusing with Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D., and integrates this into her clinical practice. Higher education includes a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. She has led workshops with Lexington and Arlington Community Education that integrate poetry with mindfulness. In 2017, she led workshops blending Focusing with poetry at the Focusing Oriented Therapy conference and with Focusing New England.


This event is located at the Arlington Center

369 Mass Ave. 
Arlington, MA

Cost is $25 payable at the door by check or cash.