I walked in the "big" ceremony for Fairfield University's graduate programs today, celebrating—once again—the completion of the MFA program. There were six of us from the first cohort representing and it reminded me of the very first residency, when the original 27 gathered together at Enders Island.
We wanted to be writers.
Over the next two years, we read about writing, we talked about writing, we argued (sometimes quite heatedly) about writing. We wrote. Some of us wrote poetry, some wrote short stories, novels, memoirs, essays. We all wrote craft essays. Most of us wrote monthly missives to our devoted mentors. I think all of us, at some point, wrote a few emails to one another in which we wondered why we were writing at all.
We gathered together for 10-day residencies on that magical island (and it is magical). We ate three meals a day together. We negotiated those showers (oh, those showers!). We "workshopped" the poems and short stories and novels and essays and memoirs. We partied. We listened to our peers and our faculty read.
We became writers.
It was nice to be reminded, today, of the special journey we shared.