A Time To Tell
I gather with a few writing friends every month or so. We don't have a lot of writing to share, but just the meeting makes us feel like there is this one little part of us we simply refuse to let go. We have given ourselves over to the dance of parenting, work, and making a life for our familes knowing that another time will come when we can dance more fully in our writing. This does't stop us from being observers of our lives, from noticing and taking notes. We talk through where we are in life which lends itself to stories and metaphors that might show up later in our writing. In fact, the very act of talking provides all of us with much needed perspective, raises questions, and gives each one of us more to ponder, to stew, to check in with later. It is our form of pre-writing and brainstorming. This is a neccessary gift to our writing selves.
Yesterday we meandered over how joy and grief are so closely linked. We don't feel big feelings about things that have not touched us. Whether we are letting go of a person or saying goodbye to a way of life or working through some tough things with children, the feelings present are in proportion to how much we care.
This conversation led me to think of an email exchange I was having with a new friend who said, "I believe all the broken people are the real ones."
This is truth. And we are all broken in some way. You can't live without getting dinged up just a bit. But not everyone is comfortable sharing the broken bits. It's a scary place to be- putting out there your pain, your insecurities, your biggest hurts and not all of us are called to be a voice. Writers feel called to share their broken bits in poems and stories and novels.
I am a truth-teller. I am my own truth-teller, and yet I care so much about trying to help others find ways to get theirs out in a time and space that feels good to them. My writing group has given me a safe space to practice this.
Sometimes our conversations stop. There is silence and I love that silence. There is something magical in holding what was said and letting it sink in. Sometimes in a meandering conversation that seems to have lost it's footing we will stop and minutes later one of us will say, "There's your story."
Often that story is not the one we were intending to tell.
And that is the power of the pause. Sometimes I fear we don't use the pauses enough in our life. We rush from this to that or from the event to the response/reaction that we do not get any time in the middle.
And I really think that middle place is where the juicy stuff is. It's uncomfortable, sure, but is also rich and full of possibility and growth.
Sometimes in order to tell your truth, you do just have to let time do it's thing before it can fully shape what you see.
So here I am, not trying to rush any of this or that. I am learning to say no when I need to and I am saying YES always to my writing group. It is a writing group very much in the middle, holding a place for what is yet to be created, a place where time will eventually lead to telling.
Posted by Lisa Gray