"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Friday, January 16, 2009

Down the Road


Two years ago, on a Friday much like this, I was in the middle of a regular winter school day so nervous and excited that all I really remember about the day is the raw energy. I left school that afternoon and headed for Portland for a writing workshop, my first ever,  with a New York Times bestselling author. 

By the time I arrived at the beautiful home of our hostess I was so terrified I could hardly breathe. What did I think I was doing? Who did I think I was? How long would it take for them to tell me I didn't really belong in a group of women who called themselves writers and seekers of truth and believers in love?

As it turns out, that weekend changed the course of my life forever. Such a dramatic and cliched thing to say, yet as true as anything can possibly be. 

In the two years that followed that first act of facing-the-dragon bravery much has happened:

Two more powerful retreat/workshops, this blog, and the development of relationships both real and virtual with women whom I consider sisters and for whom I would do anything.

I wrote a book. God Has No Daughters took the better part of the two years to be born, but she is real. The healing that's resulted from writing about my young adult decade in a small Bible based cult, and revealing my longing for daughterhood and motherhood, has been deep and continues even now.

I decided to stay in my marriage of 22 years after spending most of it thinking I would have to leave in order to be whole. It turns out that a choice made decades ago for needs that no longer exist can still be the right one. It turns out that being loved completely and without reservation is a gift I can receive safely. It turns out that my heart is wiser than I give her credit for.

I gave up a potential career as an educational administrator after three years of classes, thousands of dollars, and a change of districts that would have allowed me to intern and become a principal. I knowingly turned away from the status, the income and the power - things I had spent my life believing I needed in order to matter.

Today I'm getting ready to head to another workshop. This time I took the day off. I travel with a completed manuscript to work on, my lovely laptop, and a dear friend whom I met at the first workshop two years ago. I'm excited in that first-day-of-school way - the possibilities unfurl before  me in a bright ribbon of hope.

It turns out I am one of those women: a writer, a seeker of truth, a believer in love. This path is home in a way no path has been before. Let me head on up the road and find what's around the next bend. Thank you for traveling with me.

photo from Flickr


12 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Can't talk now because you killed me here! What an absolute honor it has been to walk along side you!

Jerri said...

Watching you step forward to meet the path as it unfolds before you is one of the great joys of my life.

All blessings as you continue this journey.

Angie Ledbetter said...

You grab every single good thing there! You WILL succeed. I cannot wait to read your book.

Part of your query?--
"...a choice made decades ago for needs that no longer exist can still be the right one. It turns out that being loved completely and without reservation is a gift I can receive safely. It turns out that my heart is wiser than I give her credit for."

deb said...

"I decided to stay in my marriage of 22 years after spending most of it thinking I would have to leave in order to be whole. "

That's where I am, trying to decide, sitting on the fence, wavering back and forth. Thank you for sharing this with me.

M said...

Thank you for inviting each of us to travel this road with you. The nice thing about roads is that they always lead somewhere...It's just a matter of finding the one that leads where you want to go. It seems that you've finally found the one you've been looking for these many years.

Love
M

Ask Me Anything said...

It amazes me you even had a moment's hesitation then. Your gifts, your stories, were bursting to come to life. I have witnessed, with great reverence, their birth.

Amber said...

Wow, what a moving post. It only makes me want to read more about your journey! (and your book).

:)

kario said...

You rock, my dear. Loved the weekend, the weather, the laughs, the workshop (that prompted many of the laughs), the beach and the precious, precious friendship that just keeps growing.

Love you!

She said...

You are ONE AMAZING WOMAN! And such an awesome gift to me and to so many others!

Thanks for paving the way (a path that I hope to follow you on!).

Love you so very much!

Nancy said...

"It turns out that a choice made decades ago for needs that no longer exist can still be the right one."

This is so relevant and wise. Your own journey has been healing to many others. Thank you so much for sharing and by the way...I can't tell you how amazing I find your writing! Can't wait for that book to be published!

1933margaret said...

I feel honored to have met you and have shared a weekend workshop with you. I so enjoy your blog. I agree with She "you are one amazing woman!" Love you. Marge

Sharon said...

Looking back we can see the stepping stones that have guided us on our journey. I'm glad your path has become clearer through your writing friends.