I am away in a small apartment in Amish country, in a quiet environment and mostly unplugged. I am writing you from the tiny sunroom where I sit, wrapped in a blanket, watching cows and chickens go at their own undisturbed pace. It is my first morning here, the sky is grey and I just lit a candle as I sip my warm cacao-mushroom beverage.
Since the beginning of February, I have been participating in Writer’s Quest, an 8-week online course to deepen my writing process. We have explored the organization of writing, the structures of different projects, some very practical aspects about the craft of writing, and also aspects that are more spiritual and emotional, like the source of our inspiration, the “gremlins” around writing, and what is needed in order to let the words come through us.
It has been very rich, and among many other insights, I personally realized that:
- it takes time and a lot of work for a book to become a finished project.
- the fears associated with writing hold deep medicine for me around my personal wounds.
- there are many unknown things about my project, and to not know is not a reason for not doing it.
During our group meeting last week, the topic of having the privilege to go away for 5 days came up.
Yes, it is a privilege, and for me, it holds the responsibility of honoring what I am doing, of dedicating this time to what wants to be birthed through me. It does not mean that I am more or better than anyone else, it does mean that I have an opportunity and I am the one responsible for what I do with it. I learned last year, from the work of family constellation, that responsibility is our ability to respond. This resonated deeply in me, and I could see the ripples in my own family when people had no way, or thought there was no way, to respond to a situation. When they lost the connection to their imagination and, suddenly, there was no movement, no possibility, no direction to go to.
In my imagination, I see them becoming statues, immobile in the midst of tragedy and trauma, and the phrases I hear are:
“that’s just the way things are”,
”it’s always been like that”,
”you can’t change”,
”she has always been this way”.
Those mindsets, those beliefs that solidify everything, turn people into stones with no vision for a future that is improved from the past or the present, no space for people to become better versions of themselves, no imagination for the next generations to stop carrying the same wounds. It reduces everything and everyone.
And so, this is why I’m here really. This is why I want to write a mythic ancestral memoir: to bring the imagination back, to weave the golden threads of life instead of those of silence, immobility and disconnection, to wrap the tragic and sad legacy with archetypal possibilities and to infuse with magic the stories of before, the stories of now, and the stories to come.