"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

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Catbird Scouts New Skies

That's it. I'm done with Book One. Freedom was the last chapter. 

One draft done, who knows how many to go. When I took wing into this writing sky with Jennifer and Carrie and my sister circle last February, I had no idea the cult would be my first book. I had no idea how revealing and healing the writing would be. I had no idea how hard it was going to be.

In present time I have no idea where all this will lead. I know where I want it to lead, and I hold that vision lightly and reverently in my heart. I know I'm on a journey I love and I know I'll follow it as far as it will take me. Getting to write words every day that give wings lift is what I came here to do. It's amazing to me that I'm finally getting to do just that. 

For those of you who have followed the story for these last months,  and who don't know me in my present life, here is how things turned out:

While Marlene the Unsmiling couldn't be the nurturing mom I wanted her to be, she was the skilled attorney I needed her to be. When the divorce was final seven months later I was granted maintenance and tuition and fees until I got a Master's degree or got re-married - whichever happened first.

Marv wanted to give me Jesse so that he wouldn't have to see me whenever I came to visit. The visits were pretty awful anyway - having to see Marv and having to leave Jesse behind every time. I couldn't afford a rental that would allow a big dog, and decided to let Marv have him. A decision that still stings.

The single teacher next door turned out to be everything that Marv was not and much much more. 

I graduated from Portland State with a teaching degree  in May of 1987. Walt (the guy next door) and I were married on August 16 of that year. I decided marriage was more important at that point than a Master's degree. A week after we got back from our honeymoon I was hired for a fifth grade position - a week before school started.

The cult and trucking company both ended within a year of our divorce. Through Harold's oldest daughter, who I ran into occasionally, I learned that Marv eventually remarried, moved to California and had a couple of kids. That still stings, too. Harold and Bonnie are both dead now. Laurel and I stayed in touch for years, but she stopped writing a while ago.

I'm still married to Walt, and grateful for the gifts our relationship has brought and continues to bring me. I'm still teaching, and ready for that chapter to end. I'm trying hard to be as present and grateful as possible while the lessons to learn as a teacher are still unfolding.

So, my blog will be changing. During the winter break (a week and a half away) I'm going to pull the story off, change my format, and write about my life as it unfolds in real time. I have a terrifically cool life - a wonderful home in the country, a loving and very understanding husband, a gifted counselor, four cats, twenty-one third graders, great books to read, growing relationships with my brothers, an unfolding spiritual life, amazing friends for fun and support.

 Oh, and we're getting a puppy in the next couple of weeks. A Golden Retriever. My third, our second - the first chosen with eyes wide open. We go tomorrow to choose and will bring him home before Christmas. 

I am so grateful to everyone who has read and commented on my story up to this point. If you still have unanswered questions, ask away. Or wait for the book (big grin here!). I hope you'll continue to visit me here as I stretch my wings into a new sky.


Jerri said...

Wow, Deb. I am so impressed with your dedication and delighted to have witnessed this journey.

Those skies are wide open and waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

That you for the privilege of allowing me to witness your amazing journey!! Your writing is so beautiful and compelling, your story so powerful, I know you are on the edge of some very big things.
I for one, will continue to read your blog. I look forward to your new format and hearing about things happening in your world today.

kario said...

Yahoo! I am sorry to be reading this so late and wish I was there to give you an enormous hug and a bowl full of chocolate ;-).

I'm dancing in your honor right now. I can't wait to see what happens next - with the book and the blog.

Love, love, love.

Deb Cushman said...

You've had an amazing journey to this point, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where your vision takes you from here! (& I'm glad I'm included in that "fun & support" portion of your life :)
Other Deb

Barrie said...

An entire book is an accomplishment!

Writer said...

I am soooooooooooo excited and so can't wait to read the entire book! It will get published. You, me, and Carrie are all done with our manuscripts!!! 2008 will be a great year for all of us! I am so proud of you and so excited to see what your new writing will entail!!

Thank you for including me on this journey!


Carrie Wilson Link said...

I am so excited for you. Bright days lie ahead. I know it! So happy to be on this journey with you! Thrilled, actually!


RG said...

Hey ... maybe you should get a rabbit for in that house!!!

There's a whole diffeent story line!

Good luck on what's next ... for us writing is like a psychological roller coaster!

Lola said...

TQ for sharing your story and for being an example of courage and discipline. Thank you also for bringing those of us quietly reading, up to speed. You will still be on my bookmarks as i wait to share in your next journey.

Ask Me Anything said...

I have loved every word... and will read it all again (I'll even go all out for the hard cover!) Do want to know what happened to STM.

contemporary themes said...

Yay! Love to you. I will keep reading whatever you decide to share.

Looking forward to the book!!!

Mark Lyons said...

Wow...thank you for sharing. There are so many things about your life I should know, but didn't. I'm glad that you invited me into this part of your story! I have no doubt that your book will be published and I will proudly display it on my bookshelf.

I look forward to your next story. I know you have much of your life still to share, and I, like the other readers, look forward to the next chapter.


Kim said...

This is so exciting! Congratulations on creating an truly beautiful body of work over the past months, not to mention the incredible personal work you have done to bring out your story.

I am sending you wonderful wishes for the exciting next chapter of your life--brand new puppy included!

hg said...

Congratulations - you are an inspiration on more levels than I can begin to list in the small space of this comment.

You did IT!

Breathe that in a few times! Then open your wings three feet wider for the journey into that big sky!

Marge said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. What a privilege it is to know you. I will continue looking forward to reading your blog. Much love.

Unknown said...

Just catching up, and I want to pass my congratulations along to you. You offer many gifts in your story, your writing! I look forward to seeing your book at my local bookstore. Be well, Rhonda.

Anonymous said...

So proud of you for pushing through. What a prolific year of writing for you. Thank you for all the hard work, all the deep digging, and all the diamond-right words. Worth the journey, wouldn't you say?
:) tg

riversgrace said...

Wow, you are amazing, Deb. So impressive, in so many ways and on so many levels. You're an inspiration.

Julie Christine said...

That is great that you got that painful story of your past out of you and are ready to write about the present. What a wonderful open space you must be in, Deb. Will look forward to see what emerges on your blog.