I seldom know what will come up for me when I start my writing. Most times it's something kind of floating around me and when I start writing it flows through me onto the screen - it's like magic! I used to write longhand - paper and pen or pencil depending on whether I had decided I wanted a permanent record or a temporary one. Most of my writing was fueled by deep pain or anguish over some person, place, or situation in my life. I never wrote when I was happy or excited - just mournful missives to myself (how's that for great alliteration?) and very private.
Thinking back on my writing history I realized that it all started with my Christmas wish for a Diary. It felt like such a commitment to me and I was ecstatic when I unwrapped it. It was dark green faux leather with gilded scroll work and page edges. Gold letters spelled out "One Year Diary" and I thought how amazing it would be to have a whole year of my life recorded. As I held it in my hands, the weight of it felt substantial and best of all it had a lock and key. As a result of my experiences, trust was a major issue for me and I simply didn't trust anyone. My sense of privacy was always at risk - anyone could hurt me if they knew these very private thoughts. I found a safe place to hide the key before I even wrote in it.
I remember my first entry: January 1st, 1958, then I joyfully recorded the day my sister was born on February 9th and bits and pieces in it over the next several years. It was a one year diary, but my entries were scattered here and there when I'd take the time to write about some boy I was in love with, a friend who'd hurt my feelings, my first kiss - you know, important events.
One day when I was about 25 a care package arrived from my mom and concealed in all of the wrapping paper and other stuff was this treasure trove of memories. The incredible thing was that it was still locked. I'd locked it so it would be safe from all prying eyes - these were my secrets and could ruin my life if someone read them!
Somewhere in the few things I'd carted with me through many moves was the diary key. Divine Guidance (although I didn't know it at the time) sent me directly to the old jewelry box I'd kept and there was the key - the passage through time travel - back to a time before all of the bad choices and unhappiness. Back to the joy I felt when my sister was born and the surprise and thrill I felt with that first love and first kiss.
I felt lighter as I leafed through the pages smiling at how innocent I was. The heaviness of my life lifted and freed me to remember the good times I'd written about in my diary - the things I'd considered important - love, friends, family and the joy they bring. No guilt, no recriminations, no painful choices to regret - just simplicity even in the trauma and complexity of my home life. In those times I was still able to focus on the best parts of my life and write about them. How resilient children and young people are. How much hope I had for all of the wonderful things I had waiting for me out there in the big world. I wanted to have that hope again - that blind faith that life will give us what we want; we only need ask. I wanted to believe in me.
It took me several decades of painful research to believe and have hope again. This time it's not with the innocence of youth, it's with the wisdom of experience and learning from my many mistakes. It's from taking what I learn and making it mine. I'm a flexible and resilient Crone and proud of it...