Day: November 13, 2019

Quote

“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living. “

Bob Marley

And so it begins

              If you believe in destiny then mine began the moment I arrived in the backseat of my dad’s new Plymouth, racing to the local Doctor’s home office.  My mother and grandmother were in the back seat attending to a baby that refused to wait.  Upon seeing my quiet body and gray pallor the doctor gravely announced I had not survived.  I had not entered the world with the usual series of squalls, but my mother insisted that I had cried, just once.  The story goes that he swept me away and rubbed my tiny body so vigorously with alcohol that it seemed my skin would come off.  Then I cried again and began to turn the rosy hue of determination.   

            The hesitancy to express my presence that marked those first few moments would be my companion for many years after.  As a young child I rarely made eye contact with anyone outside my immediate family.  I can still feel the solid strength of my mother’s leg as stood clinging to it when we visited more distant relatives.  Recalling my resistance to speaking unless I was required to, returns the knot to my chest that makes it harder to breathe.  I wailed only when I was rubbed so hard the words and emotions I took such care to contain, burst loose.    Finding balance between restraint and release would elude my voice for decades ahead.

Nothing Special

            “What do you have to write about???”  A question I had asked myself over and over; one with enough weight to drag my growing need to write about my life below the surface.  And that was before the words slid past another’s lips in response to my casual revelation that I was writing a memoir. 

            I am a middle aged white woman from a family with two parents and one older and one younger brother.  We were poor but not poverty stricken.  Both parents worked hard as physical laborers to ensure we were never without shelter, food or appropriate clothing.  We even vacationed in tents and make shift campers many a summer weekend.  I have never faced the challenge of a major illness or disability.  When I look at my life from the outside it feels simple and beige.  Nothing special. 

            I first started writing about my thoughts and feelings with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way by my side, a book I almost didn’t buy (I’m no artist!).  But it had been highly recommended and I was looking for an outlet to discharge the growing frustration that seemed to be diming the illusions I had about what my life was supposed to look like.  Maybe writing was the answer.  So I started.  I feel a need to emphasize that I did not just read the book – I worked the book, every exercise and every instruction.  I wrote my morning pages each day – three pages of whatever flowed out my pen.  I made my way through each week’s readings, quotes and activities.  It did not take long before the colors hiding behind the beige façade started to seep through, as if a thousand tiny holes had been pierced with the points of my words.  I used those colors to paint the picture of my life with black and white and every hue in between.

            The writing continued across the years; mining thoughts, emotions and reactions; digging into the next layer as one became exhausted.  I began, slowly, to realize I was special after all.   That my specialness was simply the unique way every person and experience touched and changed my life – the exact same thing that makes each of us special.  The story I share is not about things that set me apart from the rest you. It is about the emotions we share, the commonalities within the day to day details that send us in directions that we either choose (directly or inadvertently) or have little or no control over.  We are each something special.  I hope sharing my story with the discoveries that have emerged from my particular heap of humanness will add new shades of color to your brush as you explore the landscapes of your life.

Just a note:   All thoughts shared here are based on the truth as remembered and processed in my one little brain!  That of course does not eliminate the possibility of different views of the same events observed through different eyes.  That is why it is my story.  I welcome your input and would love to hear other views and observations!