“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
-William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”
And God is the compass that points the way.
It’s up to me
which way I sail,
Which way I go
Is where I’ll be.
Sometimes I feel
Alone at sea.
Inside of me.
I look for an answer
A narrow telescope.
There is nothing in sight
But a seagull
Why do I forget
Its easy to see.
It can’t get lost,
For its inside of me.
I am after all
Of my soul,
But it’s the compass
That shows me
Way to go.
“When was the last time you told your story?” The question comes from a Native American Medicine Man.
Sometimes we keep telling, sharing or re-writing our story the way I have for so many years. We can’t help the need to release and express that which presses on our heart. People may get tired of hearing about it, but it is only through the telling over and again that we are able to understand it all. Mark Nepo adds that, “It is the sweat and tears of the telling that bring the meaning out of its sleep as if no time has passed. It is the telling that heals.”
I was encouraged by today’s reflective reading to close my eyes and imagine the passages that have brought me to the person I am today. It’s ironic that I come across this right now as I’m re-writing my story. I’ve actually been noticing how many doorways and thresholds I’ve crossed through. The deeper I go into these various places the more I see clearly as if no time has passed. The journey, this time, is not a walk I do alone. I am holding the hand of my younger-self. Something my wonderful therapist once taught me to do. I let her lead the way as she walks me back through each doorway of our story. While it can still be painful at times to live through, I am able to remind my younger-self that it is okay now because we made it all the way through. I’ve learned to thank her this time too. For the strength, perseverance, bravery and the faith it took to get through one thing after another. My hope is that when every doorway has been gone through noted, and the last word is the end. That the child in me will not only see how much she is a part of who I am today, but that she will let go and become as I am.
“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” -Gordon B. Hinckley
I got home yesterday from my week of writing in the Poconos. It was wonderful in every way. To top it off I got a lot writing and soul searching done. I think the best thing I came away with was a new understanding of the gift I have now because of the years of cultivating I’ve already done. What I’ve come to realize is that it hasn’t just been my inner child’s need to be validated for the part she played it in making our dream come true. It goes much deeper and beyond that. It’s been her driving forces to tell our story that has made me a better writer. This has given me the opportunity to do what I have a real passion for and that’s inspiring others with my words.
As I was talking with one of the many accomplished writers there, I began to wonder what I’m doing here. The old saboteur started showing its defeating face. I could feel myself getting sucked into the belief that I was an amateur and I always would be. Then this writer started telling me about how he likes to garden and sometimes he just has to go out in his garden and start doing some composting. As you begin to pull this and that out of yourself all the good and bad stuff gets thrown together. Then you let it sit for a while. When you’re ready you start to turn and mix it up, and eventually it becomes the fertilizer that feeds the story’s you sow.
As the quote says above, I’ve learned too that without a lot of hard work, nothing grows but weeds. I think I’ve managed to grow a few beautiful flowers along the way. Now all I have to do is keep pulling the weeds that get in the way.
I was up till 12 last night writing. I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop. Then I got up early to do yoga in the loft of the barn with Didi. She’s a gentle soul that just seemed to have a calming affect on me.
I hung around in the loft after we were done and journaled for a bit until breakfast was ready downstairs. I sat with two other ladies, Liz who took me under her wing the first day I got here. She’s been very encouraging and helpful directing me toward supportive networks and books to read on how to write memoir. Then there’s Carmine who reached out to me introducing herself and always pulling me into the conversation making me feel a part of the people here. All 3 ladies are leaving today. I shall miss them, but they’ve helped to get me off to a good start as I feel more comfortable meeting the new people coming in.
Today will be my 3rd full day here, and I can’t say enough about how at home I feel. They do everything they can to make you comfortable. For instance, I’m short as some of you already know. So, my desk is too high, my chair too low. So we tried a few chairs to on for size. They were all too low. Then we tried some different tables, and they were still too high. Finally we found a chair and it was…just right…as Goldilocks said after trying out all the furniture in the three bears house. Lol
Speaking of bears there’s all kinds of story’s about bears around here. One lady heard something rubbing up against her cabin and was afraid to look out the window.
She later learned from the lady staying next to her that she did indeed see a bear walking between their cabins. Yikes! Maybe staying in the lodge isn’t such a bad thing after all.
I started to go for a walk down a path until it became too enclosed on both sides by the woods. I chickened out and turned around thinking I might look like a plump juicy treat to one of those bears.
The word is that no ones every been attacked by one yet. I think I’ll play it safe anyway and stay close to my surroundings.
Why do I need notes to remind me
What’s already written my heart?
To be grateful for a new day.
For the people I love
And pray for too.
To remember to hear the birds sing
To smell a rose or two.
How could I ever forget
to tell you
I love you too.
And don’t forget to laugh out loud
And be silly instead of blue.
Savoring a glass of wine
With a piece of dark chocolate
Walk on the grass in my bare feet
Maybe even dance in the rain like a kid.
Sing a song that goes to my heart
And makes me tap your feet.
Oh the gift of life
Is so sweet
Yet can be gone in the blink
Of an eye.
So why waste my time
Writing notes to myself
When I could
written in my heart.
Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”-Chinese Proverb
It’s funny that I read this quote today because I recently pulled my manuscript out to work on my 2nd drift. As I’m reading over it I’m reminded of what every instructor taught me, show don’t tell. My goal in the end product is to involve the reader so much so that they see, feel and understand what I experienced.
This quote also applies to everyday life. I learned better by doing. You certainly can’t learn to type or play instrument or even cook by being told how to do it. Showing helps you to know how, but the real understanding comes when you get involved and do the work.
Politic is the same thing. What people tell you is not necessarily true, and even if someone shows you. How do you know if it’s factual unless you get involved in finding the facts. How will you understand unless you do the research?
How easy it is to talk, and show someone how to walk, but the only way to understand is to get involved with what the talk and walk has to teach us.