by Joanne Reimer

“When a writer writes, it’s as if she holds the sides of her chest apart, exposes her beating heart. And even though everything wants to heal, to close over and protect the heart, the writer must keep it bare, exposed...”
— Helen Humphreys

photo from Callanish doll-making workshop / click to enlarge

When I read this passage from The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys, it instantly resonated with me, not about writing but about speaking in circle at Callanish. I have participated in many Callanish circles, a time where we sit in circle and people speak if they wish to, listen without interruption and acknowledge with a silent thank you.   

Reading the passage immediately took me to that place in circle where my heart pounds, and even though I consider pushing back tender thoughts, I am moved to press onward and speak. And, when I listen to others, I appreciate how they too, rather than shield their precious and intimate thoughts and feelings, are driven to open their heart and bravely give voice to what troubles or inspires their inner nature.  


Joanne Reimer has been connected to Callanish since its inception in 1995 and has been a program assistant and baker at Callanish for the past several years. She brings many years experience working in the healthcare system as a hospice consultant and researcher.