Unleashing the Flying Monkeys

Writing a memoir is one thing, having others read it is another; it’s akin to being a nude model for the first time in front of an art class. But standing naked in front of strangers (or worse yet, in front of family, friends, and everyone in town) has nothing to do with me or what I look like, it’s simply being willing to be seen, to present myself on behalf of something larger than me. So far, no one has smote me down for what I’ve written—though my sister did threaten to put a hex on me before she died.

heartJournaling about my childhood and family was an act of love. Turning it into a book, an act of faith. Reworking it into a tale that was coherent, an act of perseverance. Publishing it is either an act of trust or an act of hubris. It’s not an autobiography. It’s snippets and sketches and vignettes, strung along a timeline well before I came along up until I’m the age of twenty, kneaded into tales from complicated and sometimes messy lives. It’s a story that transformed the holes created by chaos and heartache into a wholeness, and out of that wholeness, a kind of holiness emerged.

The experiences from my childhood shaped me; they gave me the work I needed to do to wake up, took me to the places where I had to stumble to find my gold. I’ve spent most of my adulthood overcompensating for my young wounds, which I suppose is my way of healing them. My ego makes sure I get seen and heard (though at times in inelegant ways), I know it matters that I’m here, and I do make a difference. If I hadn’t been so tweaked in feeling invisible and not cared about by my mother, I imagine I wouldn’t be so driven. It’s been over forty-five years since she’s been gone, yet she continues to show up in my life like a bad Hallmark card, the gift that keeps on giving, popping up whenever I’m sideways about something.

PhotoFuniaA combination of choices, karma, and synchronicity delivered me to my doorstep today. I don’t have to know how I got here—though a lot of that got sorted out in the process of writing Behind These Doors—I simply know this is where I am now. When I pay attention, hang on, and stay on the path on which I’m pulled (a complete act of trust on my part as I have no sense of direction), I end up where I’m meant to be. Generally it takes me a while to get there, and I often don’t like what it looks like: sometimes I’m anxious, other times fearless; at times I’m in a snit and then I’m over the moon; life can also hilarious, and then, there are times it just isn’t very damn funny.

So that’s pretty much how my life shakes out—and really, isn’t that what it’s all about—that, and the Hokey Pokey?

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