My intention was to write about a common thread that was revealed week to week in my therapy practice. However, here I am on week 5 and I’m finding that I can’t control the topic of my writing any more than I can control the topics that emerge from my client’s lives. All I can do is sit in front of the computer, close my eyes and breathe. I seem to enter into a sacred space where I can hear the words that have been patiently waiting in my heart. As a matter of fact, I can hear them saying, “line forms to the left”. After all, I only have an hour or two here and there to attend to them. What’s at the front of the line today?
So what I hear is this. Reveal yourself once and for all. The deepest messages will come through if you are honest about your own experiences, challenges and perceptions. Do not focus on teaching or guiding or listening to others as you are wont to do. Trust the process and stop hiding behind your helping role. Open up and let the words tumble onto the page.
I found this piece of writing from the fall of 2010 when I began to write what I called “Momoir” (Memoir of a Mom). I have 16 pages of essays such as this sitting, or shall I say, hiding in my “Momoir” folder on my computer. When I quieted myself today this is the sentiment that came forth. I will offer it to you on this freezing cold day one week prior to my 58th birthday.
Committing words from heart to paper is like nothing else. When I speak to my clients from my heart I am focused on their individual needs. I do not reveal myself unless it applies directly to them. When I paint from my heart I can use color and texture rather than defined images. I have mastered the art of broad, blurry brush strokes. They hide the truth from those who might not want to see it, including myself. Even my cooking is from the heart. As I spontaneously layer foods and spices together, I ignore all recipes and thus avoid, once again, defining the myself (or the meal).
Typing each letter to form words, especially when my intention is to share my personal experience or point of view, seems like the ultimate challenge for someone who prefers the comfort of fuzzy vision. The irony here is that as I turn 55 I have developed a blurry left eye. As my inner landscape settles with age into a more peaceful, clearly defined sanctuary, my outer eye can no longer focus. I am going to attempt to use my words to gain back my sight as I spell out my vision on the page.
I started to write about my childhood after this passage and I’m happy to share that work at a later date. By page 5, however, it was May of 2010 and although I was steadily improving my “in sight”, my “out sight” was truly failing. This piece was written in August of 2010.
The sound of the crash reverberates in waves almost 3 months later. I flinch every time I drive across the busy road or pass the location of the accident. It was 12:30 pm on a Tuesday and I had just finished a very productive appointment with a client. I sat in the car looking across the very sunny road and although I could not see a damn thing, my foot hit the pedal with the blind faith of a devoted born again. The front of my car did land on the other side of the street while the back was totaled at a fairly high speed. The shock and the sound of the crushing metal have melded into a repeating cacophony that haunts my soul. At the time, however, my left forehead smashed into the steering wheel yet all I seem to remember was a calm voice in my head saying (with a little lilt to boot) “that didn’t work out”.
I was blinded by the sunlight because both of my eyes had developed some pretty serious cataracts. One of which was scheduled to be removed the week of the accident. I knew that my eyes were failing me but it had been a very slow deterioration and my brain was still convinced that I could manage driving the 3 blocks from my home to my office. It is a miracle that I did not kill anyone , or myself. It is also a miracle that I was able to have cataract surgery a few days later and then appear with a smile (and a wicked gash on my forehead) at my daughter’s college graduation the following weekend.
I guess most of us put our foot to the metal on occasion without waiting for clear vision. If we’re fortunate we don’t get killed in the process. I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to learn how to wait patiently, listen closely within, and attempt to discern any illusions before I act. It’s not an easy road as they say, but it’s the only one worth the trip.
I pass this message on to you, my friends, from the bottom of my heart.