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.
- 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.