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52 Pieces of Me

52 Pieces

Resolutions, intentions, goals… whatever you might want to call it. For me, I decided to pick one word for 2019. And the word I picked was clarity. I had it engraved on a ring and placed it on my finger before the new year began. I was wearing it at a retreat over the weekend; a retreat where we focused on “Finding Your Life’s Deep Current.”  I was always curious when I drove by the place called Spirit Rock, but perhaps a little fearful of what might be behind the gate.

A friend of mine told me about this retreat at Spirit Rock. “It’s a writing retreat,” she said. Always looking for the next step in my writing world, I leaped at the opportunity.  Okay, let’s be honest. I studied the website. I tried to read between the lines. I probably read through the entire program at least six times before I found the courage to click on the registration button.

We breathed. We meditated. We listened. We wrote freely at several prompts. And then… we shared our writing with a complete stranger. Not just one stranger. Each prompt was to be shared with a new stranger. Journal writing an be a powerful thing. Standing up to what you have written, sharing with another human being whose path has never crossed yours is emotionally draining yet liberating.

But here’s the thing. As I read my piece to the last stranger, I noticed she was leaning in just a little closer, truly listening to each word. It was her turn. I listened to her read her words and found myself leaning in a little closer absorbing every word. We looked into each others eyes and it was as if we were looking into a mirror. It wasn’t just that we were close in age and our outward appearance was similar – we shared the same inner truths.  But that’s not all. I asked her name. “Marge,” she said. “But that’s my name,” I said.

So what does that have to do with “52 Pieces of Me?” I’m not so sure but I have a feeling if I share 52 pieces of me, I might just find some more “Marge’s” out there.

And about the ring… I have abandoned the idea of having only one word for the year. I wore this ring for only a couple of weeks and I can see more clearly now. I could wear a stack of words on my fingers (and I might) but the truth always comes from within.

 

I Wanted To Write

Dorothy Parker’s Mink Coat

I wanted

  • to write a book that would tear your insides apart with laughter, not heartbreak.
  • to write tiny bites of my life with enough humor to leave my readers with howling belly aches over exaggerated blimps and bleeps.
  • to write the best selling memoir full of wit and wisdom, one that would live on the nightstand of every parent on this earth who might need a quick dose of humor following a particularly harrowing day.
  • to write with a keen sense of humor to keep my readers turning the pages (or swiping their Kindles) to the very last word.
  • to write the takeaways that would lead to joyful resolution for all who read my words.

Meanwhile I have

  • written the necessary 90,000 words of a pitiful and shitty first draft (ala Anne Lamott), just to get over it.
  • highlighted the questionabull, deleted the distractabull, rewritten the sustainabull, and added the conceivabull.
  • hit the muddy middle and squirreled away at least sixty hours of mindless FaceBook gaming in the last thirty days.

The time has come

  • to send away the critics and bring in the clowns.
  • to let go of the past.
  • to write that final chapter.

If nothing else comes of this

  • I can say I wrote a book
  • My inner self will be sufficiently mended.
  • I can be a better person.
  • I still have a sense of humor.

BUT maybe one day I’ll sit at the Algonquin table in Dorothy Parker’s mink coat signing copies of my phenomenal book.

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