On a Saturday afternoon, West 37th Street is a strange place. The stores are mostly shuttered, people are sparse, the cement caught in shadow.
247, with its gold-rimmed triple doors, is out of place as well, plopped down in the middle of neighboring storefronts with their too-shiny gowns, and shuttered loading bays. But we walk in and hit the button and up goes the elevator, with its flat-screen TV broadcasting the news.
At 18, the doors open onto a concrete floor, a narrow corridor, and it feels like a secret society we’re entering. We greet the smiling volunteers, scribble our names on the sign-in sheets, press tags to our chests. Some are gold-starred, the symbol of those who are new, who are just this day joining our ranks, who will add their own brewing ingredients to our marvelous, miraculous society.
We turn the corner and the energy of girls and of women is palpable, there is a sweet hum, an excitement, a sense that we are among our own, writers and aspiring writers, females who love the way words taste, how they sound, who are compelled to write, to find their way, to make themselves heard, to locate their voice and make it sing.
To experience together the awe that well-crafted work leaves in its stead; how we discover ourselves in the words written by others, in their stories and truths, and then in our own. So much knowledge will be absorbed in the coming year.
It is Mentoring Program Orientation at Girls Write Now and our desire is manifest: to push and press and expand who we are, who we might become, to break through our own permeable boundaries, to do so in a safe space in which magic hovers, poised to appear.