K, how is this? Its rough.

Since 2am I have watched 1.5 hours of How I Met Your Mother episodes. All of which I have seen already. Plus, I have stuffed myself so full of food that I feel very ill right now. Here is my attempt at writing. Nervous …

I grab my shake and bags and get out of the car. I walk to the back door and pull it open. As I step inside Marina comes out of the coffee-room with a coffee and a warm smile. 

“Hey, How are you?” I ask.

“Awesome” she replies with a smile. I knew that was going to be her response. I ask just to hear her say it cause it makes me glow a bit inside. “We have an issue with the welding program.” she says. And so my day begins. I have not even finished my breakfast or taken off my coat and I am at work. 

Despite an hours drive to work, straight highway, I could not finish my breakfast because I was too afraid of wildlife while I drove in the dark. It is February. The only light I can count on is from the full moon. 

Marina and I walk to my office and continue our chat. We chat as I hang up my coat and turn on my computer. We have a possible solution and then just as we are finishing up someone else is at my door with an issue. And so goes my day. Putting out fires. 

I use my lunch hour to catch up on emails. Fires there too. Someone comes to my door and I say that if it is not due in the next 30 minutes I can’t deal with it right now. My mid afternoon I start my lunch and sneak off to the Co-op down the alley for a chocolate bar mid afternoon.  

By the time I drive home it is 5:30. I walk in the door and holler for Sherese to come up so I can take her to guitar lessons. We pile in the car and off we go. As I wait for her lesson I am on my phone responding to work emails. Then back home. 

Three hours on the road today. Exhausted. Finally we can start eating supper at 8pm. Forget it. Teela needs me. I sit and nurse her and then try to prep something for supper for tomorrow as well as clean up a bit. My family sits and watches TV. I have two laptops going and one TV on the main floor. Teela is running in circles around our bungalow. It is noisy and I am annoyed I am alone in getting everything done. I am annoyed that I have to ask for help. I am annoyed that everyone is oblivious. It took me 6 hours to eat my breakfast and 4 hours to eat my lunch. Supper wasn’t until 8pm and I didn’t even get to eat it while it was hot cause I had to nurse. Now I am the only one cleaning and cooking for tomorrow while everyone gets to relax. Oh, lets not forget that I just spent three hours driving today. 

I can’t keep this up.

K, this is rough. I don’t like it but I do feel I broke the seal. It makes me think of how I have already written this scene three years ago and which approach is better. I will regret posting this but I am going to anyway. Don’t judge me. I know I can do better.

I believe in signs. Often I find the universe will send me messages, one at a time, until I realize, ‘Hey, this topic has come up a lot lately.’

That is what happened this spring. It was February or March when I listened to a CD at the back of a book I bought at the library for 25 cents. The book, ”  ” by Ester Hicks. I listened to the CD first. It was after listening to Esther/Abraham tell a story of driving to Boca and something went haywire with the GPS. Once her and her husband got back on the right path she was curious to know what went wrong. She wanted to go back and do it all over again.

Her husband replied, “Or we could just keep going right.”

Abraham goes on to share how we can, and should, start where ever we are in our journey to becoming more of ourselves. We do not need to go back and figure out where things went wrong so we can heal and move forward.

You don’t even have to find the cause. You don’t even have to find the thought that is causing the resistance. You just have to find a thought that isn’t causing resistance. You just need to reach for a thought of relief. You don’t have to sort it all out. You don’t have to go back and retrace your steps through it and figure out which way you went wrong.

Abraham/Esther Hicks

I sat for days thinking about this. The concept froze me. Why did I have such a desire for people to know their story and here is someone I admire say that it isn’t important. Did I misunderstand? Am I taking their words out of context? Have I misread my desire? Am I on the wrong path? There are so many people out there writing memoirs, recording their stories. Are we all going about this the wrong way? Frozen. Doubt is a horrible enemy.

This segment of the audio CD caught me hard because I had heard two other bits from the universe saying the same things. I had ignored them but could not ignore this one. It was crystal clear in my earphones. All other sounds non-existant.

Story writing feels as if it is part of my core. I began a large search on why I memoir write. Why do I want to write life stories so badly and why do I think others should know their story.

I found some great quotes on the internet such as this one:

My story is important not because it is mine … but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track … of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity … that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally …to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but spiritually.

I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.

Frederick Buechner in “Writing as a Road to Self-Discovery” by Barry Lane

But it wasn’t enough for me although internally I had a strong feeling-connection to it. This represents more of what I have been feeling up to this point. Now this was being challenged as not being enough. Why do I want to write? All my life I have felt a desire to write life stories – particularily to hear stories of women, yet now the universe was was saying to leave the past alone? What is wrong with my desire?

I do not recall how it happened but I read something of Rudolf Steiner‘s. He is the founder of Waldorf Education, something else I am passionate about. He says in his book “Education of the Child” that we are a make up of an inner being, a divine being, or a soul. This soul melds together with inherited traits of our ancestors to create a unique individual. He compares it to mixing blue and yellow to make green (some version of the primary colours. Don’t hold me to this example). Only in reality there are so many different shades of people.

After I read this I felt, it was not simply some intellectual understanding, I felt my passion for life story writing. I felt my passion for one to explore their life stories. It is to know their inner being. It is to know themselves in such a deeper and divine way than I had ever imagined.

I do believe there is more to us than simply our physical lives. There is a greater mystery. It is now my belief that the universe sent me this message from Ester Hicks/Abraham to inspire me, to give my passion focus.

Since reading Steiner’s words I have been on a bit of a journey. I realized I wanted to connect with other moms who shared the same interest in Waldorf Education as I do. I put an ad up on kijiji to find some moms to hang out with, make crafts and learn more about the philosophy of Anthroposophy more directly. Instead of finding a few moms I know have a Facebook page with 78 families and am working at building a Waldorf school here in Saskatoon. It is very exciting.

Yet, while I plug away at this new school I have made notes in my journal of things I wish to blog about. As I read Steiner’s phiiosphies I am left wondering and reflecting. Blogging helps me explore my growth more thoroughly. There is something about choosing the right words that help me to really define how I am feeling and what I am thinking. Writing is my core. Only now I have a clearer picture. I want to break apart all our colours to see our colour code. My intention is for us to know who we are (what are our special talents) and what are we to do in this life.

Once a month I lead a storytelling group at a nursing home in Saskatoon, my closest city. I bring a topic with me and a prop or two to aid discussion. I find it thoroughly enjoyable listening to my elders tell there stories and see their faces fill with delight that someone is listening.

In February I went with the theme of love. With Valentines Day approaching at the time I thought it would be great for us to talk about marriage and all the good and bad stuff that goes with it.

Only I lost my way. The problem with finding that you lost your intention is that it happens after the fact. I knew I felt disappointment during our time together but I ignored those feelings because I thought I was experiencing the moment where a time did not meet my expectations.

And this is true, I was experiencing that but this time it was a bit more. My expectations failed because I did not honour my intentions. I wanted to talk about the good and the bad yet I began the conversation passing around a picture of my mom and dad slicing their wedding cake. If you have read any of my other blog posts you will know that their marriage did not end well. It wasn’t horrible but it did end.

I began the topic talking about how charmed their life was at the beginning and left it that way. There was a voice in my head saying to tell the group that they divorced but I didn’t want to be taboo. I said nothing.

As the conversation and time went on I realized it was a struggle to keep everyone on the subject of marriage. People wanted to talk about anything but. I let this go cause perhaps they had other things on their mind they needed to share. After it was over the nursing home coordinator told me that they all have either lost their husbands already, divorced or had bad marriages. Only two at the table were still married. For one of them it was her second husband.

Well, I could have handled that. I have had my experiences of bad marriage – one my own and others I have watched. Even my current marriage is not bliss. So why do I not talk about the bad stuff? Why did I not listen to that tiny voice in me that said “Tell them they divorced and that it broke your heart driving away from your dad as a child” as I passed the picture of them around?

Well, I didn’t want to upset the apple cart which isn’t really like me. I don’t mind upsetting the apple cart if it is to advocate for someone else but I guess I won’t do it where I am involved.  Hmmm… this isn’t a self-help blog.  Well indirectly it is I guess.

What I want to say is that we need honesty. We need to tell the truth and not be shy about being judged. We need to make ourselves vulnerable in our writing and perhaps eventually learn to be vulnerable outside of our writing/storytelling lives.  Also, listen to those voices! They are so smart. I am not talking about ego who will criticize and praise you. I am talking about the other voice, the one that suggests things to you. The one that feels like it is floating and not a weight on your chest. Listen. Be brave.

The Hardest Part

Walking up and having thoughts in my head, not really sure what they are but I know I want to write about my childhood.  Yet I can’t pull myself out of bed.  I don’t want to get up and remember.  It feels so hard.  It feels so challenging.  Yet I can’t shake this pressure, like so many memoiries trying to get out at once.  A mob.  I can’t distinquish one from the other.

I find my note book and pen.  The trick is to write it all out as fast as I can as soon as I get out of bed.  I don’t even go to the washroom unless it is immenent.  This is what I did.  I got up and let my memory flow from my mind through my pen.  After

Listening to this energy within me I pull myself from my warm bed into the chilly morning.  It is 2:30 in the morning.  I must write.  I find my note book and pen.  The trick is to write it all out as fast as I can as soon as I get out of bed.  I don’t even go to the washroom unless it is immenent.

This is what I did.  I got up and let my memory flow from my mind through my pen.  What falls out of me is one of my worst memories.  The memory of my mom, two of my sisters and myself driving away from my Dad as he stands in our drive way.  What was the heart breaking moment in this scene of my lfe?  Well, I didn’t understand why he didn’t wave good bye to me, us.  I sat in the backseat with two of my sisters.  I really didn’t know what was going on but I knew my Dad looked different.  He wasn’t acting the way he normally does.

April 1993
Dad is 69 years old and I am 17 years.

I felt that I was going to the city for an adventure.  I was excited.  We were coming back to visit.  Why would Dad find this trip different than the others?  Oh the mind of a naive twelve year old.  When I think back on myself I imagine me as a little girl but I was twelve.  Surely I should have had more comprehension than to think this was a holiday!

“My brother came to pick us up.  The car was loaded with our stuff.  Mom and David in the front seat and Eleanor, Melinda and I in the back.

“We backed out of the driveway and sat on the road for a moment. which was customary when someone leaves.  Whenever someone left there was a fit of waving and horn honking only this time was different.  I sat in the backseat, by the window closest to my dad standing on the driveway.  I wave but he just stands there.  I am not even sure he was watching us.  He was hunched over.  I couldn’t see his face.  He was looking down or away maybe?  I waited for him to wave back but he didn’t.  He always waved.  Why not now?

“Mom yells in the front seat, waving her hands like she is holding the reins of a horse carriage, “Go!  Go! Go!”  David stops waving and drives away.”

Excerpt from my writing