I led a zine workshop for a Let It Shine intergenerational event at the local UU church. The theme for the month was holding history, so we made zines together to tell a story. Somewhat randomly, I thought we could do birth stories. I have a book On the Day You Were Born, and Ming read that book to us.
He almost cried when he read the book. It was a day of many tears for our mini-fam. Ming was crying that morning, after reading my blog post about the back entrance to a psych hospital. Oops–touched a nerve. But maybe that sadness needed to come out.
Then later we had an argument, and I was crying then. Also I just cry throughout the day, for one reason or another. I miss my mom, and there’s a friend I really miss also.
The children in attendance were having big moods. When I got there, one kid was hurting the feelings of another kid by adding the word poop to the end of his name. I didn’t understand at first that it was a problem. I didn’t have appropriate sympathy.
Then later two other kids had conflict, and there was screaming and slamming. A material broke off a doorway, and I must admit, my c-ptsd is not so good with that. It felt reminiscent of domestic violence, even though the kids were just being kids, and probably no one was going to get harmed. Feelings don’t always make a ton of sense, right?
So I got a lil freaked out, but I did ok. I explained what zines are, and we did the folding and cutting the paper part, to make a one-page zine. There were people coming and going, so it was hard to teach how to do the folding and cutting. But I think we did great. Ming went around to the other tables to help people figure it out.
I knew the topic was kind of touchy. What if someone hated their birth story, or didn’t know it? The idea was we could be literal, or we could be mythological, or weave the mythological and literal together. The book Ming read to us kind of does that. So yeah, some people had a hard time with the topic, but some people enjoyed it.
One kid read his zine to me. The main character was God. God drinks some grape water, toward the beginning. Then toward the end, God rests and thinks of what to do next. It was pretty amazing for this little kid to have made a zine about God. He read it to me, Ming, and another person. I love his half-comprehensible creative kid language.
My zine How to Enter the World is partly about my mom. I drew myself as a baby, which I’d never done before. Ming doesn’t like the zine he made, My Birth, but I was glad he did some drawings.
I was honored to be asked to lead this Let It Shine workshop, and if I had a resume, maybe I could put it on my resume. It wasn’t the first zine workshop I ever led, and it hopefully won’t be the last.