“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”
I’ve been reading the poet/philosopher, Rumi’s works for years. So I could think of nothing better than to cite some of my favorite Rumi quotes that are relevant to where I am currently in my life’s journey. I love and embrace his message of acceptance, openness and a universal connection to all things. I’m still working at being a better observer and an even better listener. Without a doubt, writing has helped me to experience everyday life in a multi-sensory way.
Writing has enabled me to not just stop and smell the roses, but to physically bend down and touch the delicate softness of their petals. It’s turned my head to imagine an entire bed sprawled across my lawn. And to move them from room to room in various compartments of my brain, so I can enjoy them in a different light.
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”
The morning I sat down to write the first paragraph of my book: the one that came blasting loudly into my head, so as not to be ignored, while I was in the shower. As I hurriedly dried off, scared and on high alert; not yet fully cognizant of what was about to happen. Panic stricken as I worried I wouldn’t be able to write down my words as fast as my brain was composing them. A new awareness washed over me as briskly as the hot shower water. All my senses rose like goosebumps, higher and higher on my damp skin. In that instant – I knew. I really knew. THIS was the beginning of the book. I threw on a rob, my hair still wet. Sitting in my new white leather chair my family had given me for Christmas. Hands shaking. Fear and excitement pulsated through me like a rushing river of white capped adrenaline. I reached for my writing pen.
And I heard the voice I had been stifling for years.
That morning. That magical insightful morning. I became a listener as well as a writer.
Revealing teardrops punctuated the paper as I wrote. Knowing in that singular moment the old me had been re-shapened by my words and I would never be the same. My words, imprisoned for so many years, were finally free. A series of life events had freed them: this time I knew not to turn away. I’d acquired all kinds of heavy armor through the years. Initially wearing it for my protection, it had become itchy and burdensome. Suffocating. Like a sweater adhered tightly to my skin on a scorching summer day. Inappropriate and unnecessary. But that morning…purified by the waterworks, I sat with my body and mind, my heart and soul: naked and aware. Enlightened for having listened.
“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”
And so I continue on my quest to sharpen my ears to hear the eerily magical sounds of silence – present only to my imagination and vulnerability. The words find me easier now, as if being aware and open enlivens what was dormant to my once dimmed eyes and ears.
“What you seek is seeking you.”
In the living of our daily lives we are witness to a host of sensory moments. The ones we seek and the ones that seek us. Each and every one – full of inspiration and courage, sadness and pain, laughter and friendship. And love. Constants in our ever-changing world. We step away, we take a breath. We listen. And we try our very best to be open to the lessons – free from that cumbersome sweater we sometimes proudly wear. Knowing that…
It is only in the quiet that we can absorb life’s wisdom.
The next several months I am going quiet. Initially to pack up the rental and to finish all the last minute to dos at the house. Then to unpack, to nest, and to breathe in all that I have missed.
I look forward, with great excitement, to becoming reacquainted with objects I haven’t seen in two and a half years. To merge the old with the new ones that I’ve found. And to listen to the rhythm of our new home and location.
I can’t wait to re-open the workings of my book thus far to see where I left off. To be mindful of its cadence. And to absorb its wisdom so that I may continue on. In the writing of my book I’ve been surprised and in awe on several occasions. One of which has been learning that there is not three, but four characters that exist every time I sit down to write. First there is myself: the writer. Second there are the words: the writing. Third: the shadow, the most imperfect part of me without whom I couldn’t write one single word. Last and most surprising, there is the book: a character and a life unto itself. Like a brilliant mentor pulling from me that which I didn’t know existed. This book isn’t at all what I thought it would be. It’s much like watching a metamorphosis in real time. Full of challenges and surprises, all delightful and intense.
A newly discovered sixth sense.
It has elevated my conscience and unconscientious mind to a far greater height than I ever thought possible. THIS excites my spirit.
My book isn’t just about disabilities, illness and death. Oh no. It’s a memoir about life and the living of it despite all odds. It’s about a family life full of humor, sarcasm and an unsurmountable amount of love, joy and acceptance. It’s about an unstoppable sense of community. There’s even a phantom character along with other story lines that are woven in between Preston’s lessons that don’t apply to disabilities at all. Or maybe they do.
It is my hope that when you read my book you will laugh as much as you cry. That you will find yourself nodding your head because you can relate to something I’ve said. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve loved or known a child with disabilities or not. This is a story about unconditional love and laughter, unbelievably horrible circumstances, and an unyielding spirit and energy force that, at times, defied logic. It’s about growth and pain, endings and beginnings.
I need to fully immerse myself in the book so I can experience it from all angles. So that, hopefully, I can see, hear and feel its darkest, funniest and its most enlightening moments as they appear to me. My fingers need to scan the creases and dog-eared pages in every one of Preston’s life chapters. Some pages are turned way down while others just a bit. Whatever the case, I need to examine and question the reason for their depth. In the hopes that the simplicity along with the complexity of our family’s life can inspire or touch someone else’s heart.
The idea of this book of mine has been with me for awhile. Most recently though, it has come to sit within my soul. This is my calling. Chills shoot up and down my spine as I say this short but powerful phrase aloud. Owning a truth that has been suspended inside of me for so long is scary and freeing, at once. And now I must get back to the full time work ethic that will ultimately help me find those exact words, the mot justes that will best describe an indescribable life.
My silent teacher guides me…and I listen.
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
So here I go into the quiet. Inward. Toward my heart of hearts. My fear and intuition.
To fully owning my gift.
Always keep your eyes and ears open to the wonder of our world.
Until next time. Be well.
And cue the magic.