I love my writers’ circle and the diversity it brings to my writing journey. This morning’s meeting was extra special. We were treated to the writing wisdom of guest speaker, Jan Moran Neil, and there just seemed to be a tying up of strings in my personal journey. The topic was “Writing your life story” with the essence being that the writing of such usually begins with a life-changing turning point.
Jan first gave everyone a few minutes to write about their lives in 6 words. I only got as far as three in the time given: “Unique. Challenging. Exciting.” I was given cause to rethink this later… Others read out their 6 words, and there seemed to be a common thread – tragedy and change. Charlotte read a quote about choices being made for us being so much easier – and so final. Jan then read Robert Frost’s The Road Less Travelled and I felt a bubbling joy at the personal message. I have read this poem many times, but at this particular point of my existence, where I am standing at the place where my path diverges into two – the reminder of how easy it is to choose the known path was a refreshing prod back to my original decision to choose the road less travelled.
At the last meeting, the writing for the box topic was “Turning Points”, in preparation for Jan’s talk. There was a true sense of connection in the reading of the stories that I have never experienced in our circle. Where in most meetings our readings are on fictional work, these stories brought a sense of the people we are sharing a common thread with. For me, for the first time, it wasn’t only our love for writing bonding us, it was the exposing of inner turmoil and heartache as well as the joys and adventures that make us who we are and drive what we love. This sent tingles through my being to be in this space, it is the essence of being truly alive to allow ourselves to be so vulnerable in the presence of others.
I am reminded that before being a creative process, writing is the release of raw emotion. The stuff we can’t always speak of with others, but needs to be let out. And once it is on paper, perhaps it is easier to speak, even if in reading the words from a page. Some wrote their stories in the third person – perhaps this takes the personal edge off sharing, but still communicates the message – the fear, the hurt, the sorrow – without having to reclaim it.
I am moved, constantly moved, and flowing and merging through waves of both new and forgotten consciousness. The diverse groups of people I am finding myself in contact with each beat to the rhythm of their own drums, yet I find myself aligning with those rhythms, even if momentarily, as we share parts of our lives.
And so I look at my 3 words and perhaps my life story is not as unique as I image it to be. With a bit more than a few minutes reflection perhaps my six words would be:
Hurting. Learning. Loving. Becoming. Adventuring. Sharing.