by Marguerite Kearns

Each Saturday is the same. Each Saturday is different. We operate in a similar way each week, and everyone’s output is vastly varied. I’m speaking about visiting the posting the fruits of each week’s session. We all get to contribute to a group poem, hosted by James Nave. I got to meet him personally recently, as well as Allegra Huston in Taos, New Mexico. It was a treat and a much needed “vacation.”


I treated myself to a “vacation workshop” by attending the Taos sessions and in the off hours, worked on my paper due for my graduate communications class. Each of the Taos participants were unique in their sharing. It was great. I told myself I needed a vacation, and where did I go? I stayed in New Mexico and made the journey to Taos where the sessions were so lively that Nave and Houston have scheduled a similar workshop, same time and place, in Taos, next year. Keep an eye out for “Imaginative Storm” in 2025.

The written pieces from the Taos workshop dive deeper than anything dredged up from my rational mind. So I weave them together as a veteran of the past stretching into the present day with my feet back in 1941—before I was born, when Erich Fromm wrote “Escape from Freedom.” It’s no wonder the optimists have eliminated the past. It’s fashionable now to be optimistic. Anyone else and the past is written off as “negative.” This is newspeak, in my opinion, for the current transitional phase.


We aren’t sure if humanity will survive what is referred to elsewhere as a “planetary crisis.” So, some individuals have created views that qualify, in my opinion, as “negative.” Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of optimism. They do this by accusing folks of being “negative.” One of their tactics is to commit someone to a mental institution. Or there are other ways to make sure certain commentators experience isolation and grief. The pessimists deserve punishment, in their view, and the way this is best accomplished is by “name calling.”

I think this is a pathetic diversion. All of us should be working together to fix the issues. I personally am not in favor of optimism and pessimism as conditions or a short label to describe someone. One of these days we’ll all work together. End of subject.


I’m optimistic for a brief time, even though the evidence doesn’t breed optimism. A friend of mine refers to a possible “disaster around the corner.” The negative beasts are debating the optimistic participants. It seems like we could argue all day. But what can I write? We view a photo contributed by either Nave or Allegra. Then we write a personal piece. We read them out loud. We contribute to an imaginative group poem. The party line is that this is supposed to make me feel better. It’s a different way of thinking and feeling. I’ll share what I wrote tomorrow.

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