I shared with her about this nagging feeling that had been lingering around my head space….”I think it’s time to start……….”
There were many words that fell from Ms. deJong’s lovely rosebud mouth, words about the process, about the fear, and about the intense and deep knowing that it must be done, that it will be done. It’s not up to me to decide, but it is up to me to sit down and get down….with my word processor. The words that she said, the words that hold all the other words, were these, “It’s about the process; not the product.”
Shannon is more than a friend, she is sister/mother/spiritual advisor/writing teacher/teacher teacher…She is one of the most beautiful, creative, and brave women that I know, she has finished a memoir, and is acting it out on stage as a one woman show, it is BRILLIANT!
Shannon is the wind beneath my wings.
The process…..sit down, and write. Just commit to 30 minutes a day. Like a meditation practice, do it even when, especially when, you don’t want to. Just write…. Words, about IT ALL, it doesn’t have to be good, it’s not about good, YET. This is precisely what has been crippling my dream, the worry that I can’t make it perfect. But now I get it, in the deepest places inside of me, in my osteoblasts, in the nucleus of my cells, in the strands of my DNA, because this is where the story lives… I get it….just write it down. All of it, all of the memories, the images, the sensations, smells, sounds….. just clear the stuff out, wade through all of the muck.
It must be done.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and I’m surprised by what has been uncovered. So much pain. Now, the pain isn’t really the shocker, it’s where I’m finding the pain, and sometimes deep compassion, confusion, and often, I’ve found big hot walls of fiery anger. So big….and I just let the anger fall out of the tips of my shiny red talons, it is about the same color. I didn’t know I had this kind of rage inside of me, it scared me at first, it was so foreign, to really stay with it, to allow it to have its full expression on the screen. I noticed that I was pounding the keys really hard and fast, like Helen Keller discovering a new mode of self-expression. Then, I did something big.
I reached out and finally told my Father the truth. I told him how I really felt about him, I told him to fuck off, and that felt good. It felt necessary. I also told him Thanks:) Part of the process.
The wretchedness of the last few weeks is slowly beginning to take on some clarity, the blurry edges are coming into sharp focus. The memoir. The story of me, and how I , ( I think), got to be ME. I don’t yet have a title, but I like, ” Why I’m Like This”, all the sticky, slimy, miraculous, stinky, beautiful, crazy, miraculous, heartbreaking, funny, fucked up , and MIRACULOUS experiences that have made up my life so far.
This time is a gift. Time to write. Once I stopped searching for some other experience here in California, I was filled with this knowing. I make emotions too big and too beautiful to hold inside of this small body. When I really get into this knowing, the certainty of this work, I am again crying in public. It’s never about what we think it’s about. This feels righter than simply right. it feels WRITE. The first draft of my book….it’s being written now. It has been being written, but now it is intentional, and somehow…this makes all the difference. intention. My thirty minute sessions turn into hours…….
I have finished my dedication. That made me cry, it made my heart explode right there on Lake Merritt as I was running, it came to me…… right in front of all the geese and other usual lake suspects. Knowing WHY and for WHOM I was writing….well, that was fuel to begin, and to continue…..
First draft. There may be ten, twenty, hell…there may just be this one. I may stop writing and start singing. I don’t really know. I can easily see a finished product. That was there before I even began writing.
So, I’ll keep my ears peeled, I can’t wait to hear what God and Goddess have to say next….