Before the Trauma

In June 2020, Enough! hosted Stories for Terrestrial Survival, a creative writing workshop led by poet and translator Juana Adcock. The workshop was held to honour Degrowth Day.

Here we share some of the writing produced during the workshop.

Before the Trauma

by Justin Kenrick


Before the trauma

was the tiny palm

searching for love,

embodying love.

In the beginning

was connection

and emergence:

knowing nothing,

embodying everything.


The trauma

of the ‘you not me,

me not you’ world

was nowhere

in the ‘me because you,

you because me’ world.


Does outing the trauma

drive it deeper?

Or open us

to healing whole?

What makes for fearing to speak?

What makes for fearing to feel?

What makes for “I’m right, You’re wrong”?

What makes for “I’m wrong, You’re wrong”?


Must we be thrown

scraps of silence,

or eat our words?


Trauma sits by the fire in its cave,

terrified of the huge shadows it casts,

thinking fear and terror are the only company.

“Safe here” it thinks,

where none can hurt

because there is no one

and nothing but hurt.


Step out into the big field of unknowing

where we can touch our sadness.

It is bitter out here

where violence tears the world by the throat.

It is sweet out here

where kindness searches out kindness, keening in song,

searching for he how of honesty and love,

we stumble across each other’s hopes and fears

asking for forgiveness,

offering gratitude,

making mistakes,

getting cross.


There is nowhere else to go,

no one else to love

in syllables of fury

or words of care.

Here by the hearth of

roaring flame, subdued embers, bitter ash

we are the earth hurting, hearting, healing.

Stretched taught

by the pain

of being

divided from each other,

and being one.

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