Today at least 100 writers around the world will convene to put pen to paper and write our hearts. The theme is forgiveness, or Ho’oponopono, as the  Hawaiians call it.  The session will begin and end with a Hawaiian chant.

No matter where we’re from, we understand the concept of forgiveness, though the full experience of it can sometimes be elusive.

This will be my first time participating in this writing exercise, and though there’s no preparation needed in advance, I am mulling over exactly what I will write in the realms of sorries.

This morning I sift through generational layers.

I see flashes of a 1970’s rotary telephone, its extra-long phone cord stretched taut through my mother’s closed bedroom door.

An empty station wagon backing down the driveway with my father behind the wheel, alone.

The golden crucified Christ hanging as jewelry in the folds of a woman’s blouse standing by the donut table at the Baptist church.

My shuffling white Keds in the night grasses of summer camp, only starlight above, and silence.

My nine-month old in his car seat in the back of my Suburu as I pull away from that school bus up on blocks. I am leaving my baby’s father and some of my belongings to store, wishing we could stay but knowing everything would have to be entirely different, and nothing ever would be.

With Ho’oponopono there are four things to be brought to every situation of pain.

I love you
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you

We say this to others, but ultimately, this giving of forgiveness is to ourselves.

I look forward to seeing what emerges in this powerful alignment with writers. I hope you can join!