when we gather around the campfire




i am a passionate woman

who doesn’t lie,

but is finding it hard to tell The Truth. . .

My Truth.

i’ve been a nice girl for so long

that burning my membership card

is only an initiation, not a transformation.


it’s like learning to talk again,

like visiting italy with a ragged dictionary.

sometimes i mention the wart on your chin

when all i really meant to do was ask for directions to the restroom.

sometimes i squeal and shriek like a 3-year old,

when what i really want to tell you is that i wish this moment

this very moment

would last forever.


maybe i look like a grown woman

who should know better,

but please

bear with me.

be patient.

help me learn to talk.

when i allow my flat lines to go curvy with

fury or glee or deep-seated, bottled-up feeling,

don’t tell me to calm down.

when i disagree with you,

don’t push the air between us with your palms

and tell me to wait just a minute.

when i appear agitated and my words trip and stumble on their way out,

when i look down instead of making eye contact,

when i’m obviously upset,

and you can’t believe

or don’t understand

what you’re hearing,

set aside your admonition to take a deep breath,

and instead of

asking what on earth has gotten into me . . .

just ask me what’s going on right here right now.

ask me what it is i really want to say,


uncross your arms,

lean a bit forward in your chair,

and maybe, if you’re feeling especially patient and caring and willing,

give me a hint of an encouraging smile

or at least bring the frown up to a non-judgmental, non-commital flat line,

and listen.


just listen.




  1. angelakelsey

    Ah, Jeanne, beautiful. Even perfect.

  2. emma

    i love, love, love this!! xoxo

  3. Julie Daley

    I am here, listening, arms open, receiving every word with love and a keen desire to really know what's going on inside your heart, to hear your truth, to know what it is you really want to say.

    Brava, beautiful one.

  4. mynde mayfield

    wow. and wow again. love this. reminds me how I want to be treated when i feel misunderstood and also invites me into the awareness of how I could show up when someone feels misunderstood by me. thank you for sharing this.

  5. susanreep

    Isn't that the truth. Just listen. Don't just hear. Don't suggest. Don't solve. Just listen.

  6. Jennifer Prentice

    I'm listening and loving what I'm hearing… Every single burning word!

  7. sheila

    I don't think we're ever really together until we lean in and listen to each other…your truth is always there by default…you just have to keep scraping away all the stuff of life to get to it…beautiful writing…your truth is jumping right out at me 🙂

  8. Square-Peg Karen

    love, love, love, LOVE this — I was just sitting here with my computer– fussing away – and felt compelled to come see what Jeanne had to say — so glad i listened to my heart!!

    I'm leaning forward, listening even beneath words and smiling SO big!! yea!!!

  9. janelouisec

    leaning forward and smiling

  10. Renae C

    “Burning my membership card is only an initiation, not a transformation”

    Every fiber in my being is singing with recognition of this post. I don't yet know enough words to know what else to say.

    Simply stunning.

  11. Laura Hegfield

    beautiful…my first time here.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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