A group of creative residents at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour is taking storytelling to a whole new level as they forge friendships, create memories and learn new skills in a series of extraordinary onsite writing workshops facilitated by freelance writer Monika Davies.
The goal of the workshops is to learn and enhance individual skills by reading, writing and learning from each other in a highly-collaborative and supportive setting. Several of the participants also plan to write their own memoirs and are using the workshops to hone their skills and refine already started manuscripts.
Residents came to the Tapestry workshops with different levels of writing experience. “I used to be a social worker and I had to write all the time. I wrote lots of reports and I really enjoyed it,” says Sheila, one of the resident writers. “Skydiving and kayaking are not for me…but the writing workshop is just excellent. We build intimacy and learn from each other as we enhance our skills,” she adds.
Several of the participants also say they have found the unexpected at the writing sessions – friendship, camaraderie and the opportunity to share their stories with fellow Tapestry residents. Says participant Sandra, “These sessions have given me the opportunity to learn about other people on a deeper level.”
Perry, another of the dedicated resident writers, says, “I really enjoy the writing, but one of the best things about the sessions has been meeting fellow residents and the people that share my interest in writing.”
The writers’ group has been hard at work and has compiled their initial editorial effort into a 53-page booklet entitled “Tapestry Tales”. The featured stories range from the journey of an 1874 Bible purchased as part of a box of random items at auction, to the unexpected discovery of the joy of flying, to memories of a unique relationship with a beloved grandfather.
Residents were also assigned to write their own stories about a fictional character called Daphne Read, and the poetry section features several Haikus (Japanese poetry created within a specific framework).
Participants appreciate that their facilitator Monika challenges them, prompting them to write using various story themes that may not be familiar. They say this approach helps them break through writing barriers that can make it difficult to put the first words on a page.
Perry says Monika’s detailed feedback on his draft memoir has been incredibly valuable. “Monika’s enthusiasm is just wonderful,” he says. “Her insights and critiques have been so helpful to me.”
The group has published “Tapestry Tales” to share with their community and to hopefully entice other residents to join them in this exceptional learning and growth opportunity.
In future, they have ambitions to publish a selection of writings, with funds raised to help literacy organizations in the Victoria area; another project demonstrating the strong spirit of philanthropy that exists among the community-minded residents at Tapestry’s Victoria Harbour.
All of our Tapestry communities offer a variety of daily activities and programs designed to support the 7 Dimensions of Wellness. The Tapestry Tales project is an excellent example of our holistic approach to wellness, as it touches on multiple dimensions, including emotional (sharing stories, histories and experiences), intellectual (brain fitness), social (connecting in workshops), and occupational (through philanthropy).
At Tapestry, we believe wellness is about living your best life possible by embracing an active and healthy lifestyle that improves physical, intellectual, social and spiritual well-being. If you are considering making a move to seniors, please contact us and we would be pleased to host you for a complimentary lunch and a tour.