Exploring Each Other's Worlds: Friendship and Creativity in Troubled Times

anne and sharon
U*U women worldwide have been meeting since spring on Zoom calls organized by IWC, gaining strength from and building on each other’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. As some participants put it, “we are in the same storm but not in the same boat,” but “when we get lonely, it will be together. When we are together, it will never be lonely.” 


One of the diverse topics, which ranged from haiku writing to a Mother’s Day service to environmental pledges on Earth Day, offered the opportunity of collaborate poetry. As a follow-up, participants were invited to find a writing partner to co-write a poem titled "Unlonely Together." To accomplish this, they needed to find ways to connect with their writing partner virtually, over a period of time.

Anne Greenwood and Sharon Van Duizend shared their experiences, including two of their poems.


Anne: “I have had a new world open up for me in this exercise of poem collaboration!  Sharon and I have shared inmost feelings and thoughts and gotten to know more about each other on a weekly call, in addition to alternately adding lines to our poem. This process has been a testament to the opportunity provided by IWC to explore each other’s worlds.”


Sharon: “This process has for me also been one of fluid and open connection with Anne through mirroring one another’s thoughts on this poem vehicle. We very quickly headed beneath the surface to a deepening friendship, trust, and “we” creativity. I am so grateful to the women’s group.”

Unlonely Together    

By Anne Greenwood and Sharon Van Duizend, September 2020


Where are we going, not together, yet connected…

Uninvited, raw changes determine our very breath.

Standing at this new threshold -What is the future?

Standing between heart and mind, what untold dimensions emerge?

How to know what to do - where to look in this murky future globe?

For mental constructs alone can’t quite release the veil from my vision.

Perhaps inviting a new being to birth within and between us,

Who can transport us to higher ground beyond perceived polarities. 

Dreaming of still waters and green pastures created of combined efforts and loving compassion,

I move steadily toward unified consciousness — remaining open to evolving untamed stargates

While enticing all to join in this undefined adventure into unknown universes.


The Ordinary/ The Extraordinary

By Anne and Sharon, September 2020

On some mornings, footsteps meander into marvel.

Songs heard newly rising from unseen throats 

Stir primordial melodies of my own —

insist on common threads tangled in sunlight.

Dust and leaves swept up leave a new expanse - 

With such unadorned movement, each nurturing note pulses deeper still. 

Fresh freedom for my soul

As the wing-ed ones gently amplify my acceptance of all that is.