Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing My Voice

The other night I was sitting in a meditation class led by Kris Cahill, a psychic who works in the Los Angeles area. She asked us to imagine our life as a movie. Easy enough, right? Nope. Just as I began to create my movie, it got tricky. Kris asked us to identify the writer and director of the movie. I was shocked by what came up. Although I was surely the director, I was not the writer. Whatever could this mean? I'm a writer, but I'm not writing my own life story. Really? Who, then, is writing my story?

That night when I got home, I stayed up for a long time processing that piece of information. But when I sat with it, it became obvious. No “one” has been writing my story. It's been a collaboration between all the voices I have ever encountered. They have had more to say about the writing of my story than I have because I'm still looking for her. I'm still looking for the writer of my story. It's not that I haven't taken the reins every once in a while and written some beautiful scenes, but I don't have the confidence to take full hold of the story. Why? What holds me back from writing the story that is mine?

Writing my own story implies great creative and destructive power. What if I start to write the story and I find out that I am truly powerful—that I really can manifest what I desire in the world? What do I do with that? What do I do if I find out that I am not what I have presented to the world—that I am not generous or kind or good? What if the story takes me away from all the people I thought I loved? What if I fail? What if?

Photo by Kathleen Keagy
I've been sitting looking out at the sea every day since our move, and every day I hear laughter rising from the waves. That great big mama ocean is laughing—laughing at the meekness, laughing at the fear, laughing at all the worry I have let others write into my script. Laughing, not judging, because then she would be the writer of my story. Because hasn't it been the judgments of others that have had more to do with my story than my own desires?

So it is with her laughter ringing in my ears that I step in front of the typewriter because, yes, my story is written on the old electric typewriter that sat in the basement of my childhood home—back when I wrote stories and put on shows with abandon. With the gentle, encouraging voice I used to foster every writer who stepped into my classroom, I entice myself to become the writer of my own story: "Don't worry about getting it right; you can edit later.” “The story is already there, you just have to get it to paper.” “Just write." I had no preconceived notions of what their stories should have been, but sat open to what showed up. I focused on process, not product. And celebrated their journeys.

So with the encouragement of my inner teacher, I'm going to try it. I no longer want to be on the sidelines watching the pages go by. I want to be running alongside those pages typewriter in hand, laughing at the spray splashing in my face. And lying down on the beach every now and then to catch my breath.

l'll see you out there.

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