I get to SAGE early, thinking I will meet a few people and talk to some of the users of the centre. “Oo,” says the man on the door “Meditation is about to start. He doesn’t like to be late.”
Meditation? Why not.
It’s a 45 minute session, a group like all others that meets weekly. A tiny group to begin with, they now number about 20. People check in: what feelings are they bringing into the room? Also like every other session it is mixed, men and women. A gentle session ensues, very reviving. At the end people check out. How are they leaving the room, with what feelings and energy?
Now I’m in another writing group. Same size (about 9) completely different feel. Whereas the other group had a more female and mothering quality to it, this is a slightly younger, more edgy group. A karaoke group starts singing next door. “Let’s go beat them up” one man suggests. “We’re old people, we can beat them up.” Laughs from all.
This group also works on the rules of the New York Writer’s Coalition. We are looking at what’s positive in the work. The writer is always referred to as “The narrator” to keep a distance.
But there’s a steaming sexuality in this group! We write for 35 minutes with a prompt of “Spring had sprung”. There is a long and extremely surprisingly sexual story from one of the men in the group in his 90s about “the narrator” and a sailor he picked up in a bar during the war. There is a surprising amount of detail and sexual adventure from this nonagenarian. In an ancient creaking Brooklyn voice his description of the sailor’s naked body fill the room. When he has finished the group is complimentary. “First one of yours I’ve heard that wasn’t dependent on a Wagnerian opera.”
But why not? Proof positive that sexuality just keeps on going.