We recently sat down with workshop participant Barbara Bushong, a retired nurse living in a low-income housing building. Like many of us, Barbara felt isolated long after pandemic restrictions lifted.
When Write Around Portland and the housing agency partnered up to bring writing workshops to her building, Barbara was thrilled. She had seen the workshop offered years before and thought it was for people that didn’t much else to do – she had been busy with other groups at the time. But this time, she registered quickly.
It was Barbara’s first experience using writing prompts which came as a relief – she’d had the desire to write but wasn’t exactly sure what to say or where to start. But once the facilitator introduced the prompts, she said, “I’d just start writing and see what came out. I could let my imagination go.”
Barbara found the workshop convenient, low-pressure, that it helped her “stay in tune with the rest of the world.” She became better acquainted with her neighbors and made connections with other writers in her building. Now, she’s feeling a little less lonely. She is writing more often and hopes to join another workshop in the future.
Barbara concluded, “Write Around Portland is my favorite organization.”
You can read Barbara Bushong’s piece below, published in the Write Around Portland Spring 2023 anthology, Through a Kaleidoscope:
When my son graduated from college, he celebrated well beyond
the graduation ceremony.
Family was part of his way to say thank you for the
encouragement during those years. As a Mom, I helped in ways
that were financially possible, such as giving him a place to stay
and space for his belongings.
One fine day, he contacted me about a hiking trip that I had
only imagined that I would ever get to do. It was a backpacking
trip into a wilderness area with lakes and mountains of
The next week, equipped with lanterns, tents, and other
supplies, we ventured out on a three-day hike that will be a bright
spot in my memory for the rest of my life.