It was, I find, the right choice to start with that story, because this morning I find that I am free now to turn to any other aspect or event, as though I have shook all the kinks out. But I will not go straight to another powerful story, since despite it being the right choice, it took a great deal out of me to write it.
There was a time in my life when not speaking aloud of what I went through would have been a protective and self nurturing choice. However, in the last few weeks, I became aware of another choice I was now ready to make; the choice of revealing my story in the hopes that it might touch another person's life.
When I write I am aware, first of all, of the immediate language that I am choosing, the words and the sentence structure themselves. Secondly, I am aware of the direction in which I am going; I usually see about a paragraph ahead as I write. Lastly, at a mostly unconscious level I am aware of the entire point of the story, the thread running through it that makes it cohesive.
But when I am writing about something so personal, I am living through it all over again. My last story took about five hours to write and I had to get up and walk away from it so many times I was beginning to frustrate myself.
Before I began that morning, I called my mother to ask her permission to include her story, as I found that her story and mine were so closely intertwined that I couldn't write them separately. My mother was incredibly strong and said firmly, "Put it out there."
I then cleared my schedule because I knew I would never be done in time to visit the elderly lady for lunch, and that I would have no energy left over to attend a house party where a new friend would be displaying purses for sale.
That done, I settled down to write. Early in the afternoon I sent the draft to my mom and dad, needing their feedback before I could post what I had written. My mother called me, tears streaming through her voice. She said, "Release it."
So I did. I wept throughout most of the writing of that story. I wept the most at the last few paragraphs. After posting it, I had to go back again and again to reread it and each time a healing grief would wash over me and I would be in tears.
By the end of the night, I had released all the grief and was left with an abiding sense of completeness. I know now that I'm going to put all my stories into words and release them. I will know the right time and the right words for each. And when I am done, they will be like streamers in the wind; beautiful, symbolic and holding no more power over me.
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