Raw Hope

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Healing through Creativity

Lynn, Massachusetts is not an easy city to live in if you’re a kid. As a kid here, odds are you’re one of the 76% of children who comes from a low-income family. You are 47% more likely to drop out of school than kids in the rest of the state. And, you could be one of the 6 out of 10 teens who has reported witnessing an act of violence sometime over the past year.

Your life is pretty tough here, so why not join one of the 36 gangs that keeps trying to recruit you? In a gang, you’ll get identity, community, challenge, and power.

You’ll also get a dead-end life of crime.

Then again, you have another option. Raw Art Works in downtown Lynn has 40 art and film groups for children and teens aged 6 to 18. In this safe and structured environment, art therapists, studio artists, and professional film-makers create art together with at-risk youth. Youth discover their desire to create, and gain confidence in their abilities. They find out who they really are, and value what they can contribute.

If you do choose Raw over gang life, you’ll gain identity, community, challenge, and power- without the dead-end.  You’ll likely be one of the 90% of Raw’s high school seniors who has built strong, trusting relationships with peers and art mentors, and is on their way to attended college.

In the darkness, you’ll experience raw hope. 

Image source

Today’s 4 Minute Writer      


Ever since the first time I saw her handing out food to the homeless downtown, I knew there was something different about her. She had a laugh that was too loud, a nervous tic when she smiled. She was the kind of person who would show up to a fancy do with red and green striped knee-highs. She fit right in at the soup kitchen.

There was also something else about her that stood out to me- it was something in the way she served out meals. She was part of the crowd, not standing sanctimoniously above it. She, too, was poor, a misfit from society, one of the hungry masses. As she gave, she too received. From her companions, she was fed with warm greetings, wide smiles, and heart-felt thanks.  

Use the comment field to suggest a topic, submit your writing on today’s 4 Minute Writer topic (Rosemary) or to comment.



Filed under Creativity, Writing

10 responses to “Raw Hope

  1. Great post, Zoe. Raw sounds like a wonderful program for youth in Lynn, MA. Rosemary, too, is a gift to the homeless in her town, and, as you pointed out, they are a gift to her. I couldn’t help but notice that you had to have been at the soup kitchen to have seen Rosemary. I assume that you, Zoe, by choice, are another gift to the homeless in Lynn. Blessings to you, dear Zoe…

    • Ah, the joy of creative license… Rosemary is based more on ideas than on an actual person- the idea of the giver as receiver, and the idea of people all just in this together without one being superior to the other. Glad she came across as a real person 🙂
      Raw, however, is an actual place in Lynn, but not one I’ve visited personally.

  2. Brilliant stuff, I love the path you are treading, and can’t wait to see where you are going tomorrow. I was listening to Stephen Fry, for whom creating was such a superlative experience he ditched many of the other aspects of life. Creating is all-absorbing, and it has that power to draw us out of the darkness.

    Thanks once more:-)

    • While there are some aspects of life I would not want to ditch, I can think of quite a few of the more ‘mundane’ (reference back to your post of the other day) aspects of my life I would love to ditch to be able to soak more in creativity. There are always options, I’m just making some choices right now, I suppose, to not let go of some things I could. Maybe one day, though. It is so tempting…

  3. V

    In the darkness He created light. So there is a reason for the darkness, something tangible.

    Like a wound, healing cannot occur in the dark, where it is covered. And like a human’s soul, the wound needs to be exposed to the elements; the air, the light. In this process the darkness, the infection, the poison, is released, and it’s done so with time and continual exposure.

    But we hide, we don’t want others to see our wounds or what it is that is infecting us. So it takes an act of bravery to begin the process, the act of ripping off the mask. And it starts from the inside out.

    • Nice imagery of wounds, like our souls, not being able to heal if they are covered. And, like physical wounds, our souls are so very, very vulnerable and need to be treated gently, uncovered gently so that they can be healed and not accidentally damaged in the process.

  4. I am enjoying your posts and your writing very much. I especially like your weekly themes. Good work!

    • Thanks Shawna. It’s quite a journey of exploration and discovery. Having the opportunity to interact with others on things I’m reflecting on is amazing.
      I am also enjoying keeping up with other people’s blogs, like yours, and seeing what others are exploring.

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