I share snippets
from recent entries
in my Gratitude Journal.
* * *
#1029. A story that won’t let me go until it’s written down.
A college writing assignment,
five days to complete,
I felt sure I’d come up with something.
But nothing came,
my mind almost blank
except for a memory
playing over and over in my head.
Deadline pressing in,
I went to the keyboard
except the memory
that would not get out of the way.
it was all I had to work with
so I typed
words that came without much thought.
“I could always tell when we were in for a bad siege.
I would get one foot in the door after school
and smell booze rather than dinner cooking…”
Many tissues later,
I sighed and thought.
Who’d ever want to read this stuff?
I hand it in, glad to be rid of it.
A week later,
the professor, after asking my permission,
reads it aloud
to the whole class
hearing my classmates response
the many ways it connected with each of their realities
I begin to understand
the power of story.
* * *
“Faced on the page,
a difficult truth becomes a doorway,”
* * *
I would not for all the money in the world
have chosen that story to share
and would not have done it
except it came and swirled
and drove out all else,
as though asking to be told.
* * *
My classmates had found it moving,
desensitized by familiarity with it,
if perhaps I’d overdramatized.
I leaned upon my 4 siblings –
witnesses to the events –
asking them to read what I’d written
and tell me the truth,
not whether they liked or disliked it,
but whether I’d gotten the story right.
Three responded in short time.
“That’s exactly how it was.”
“You nailed it.”
The fourth I had to chase down.
There was stumbling and stuttering
and hemming and hawing.
“Did you think it was an accurate portrayal?” I asked.
“You can’t put that in writing.”
this past weekend
from over 20 years ago
has been swirling in my head.
It took me a while to realize I needed to pay attention to it,
to write it down,
that it, too, is part of the story,
the not being allowed to talk about it.
Memories that swirl
are often asking to be written.
The story continues at SILENCES LEARNED.
Sources *Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, 1998), 143.
Read this week’s High Calling Blogs book club discussion about honesty and vulnerability in writing HERE.