This is the fifth in a series of snippets from my memoir, Writing Me Back to Mat(t)er* (a working title). Please let me know what resonates with you.
She used her voice to gain minuscule moments of power only to be overthrown again and again. She was a child in a woman’s body who just wanted to be loved and to love – obsessively. But her need, her fear of abandonment and rejection became toxic, and she pushed away the very people she loved the most. Her words were ones of anguish, weakness and fear. Unconsciously, I knew I would not love like that; I would never need so desperately or show such vulnerability. I would be strong or I would be silent.
*The root word for Earth, Matter and Mother is mater.
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This is the fourth in a series of snippets from my memoir, Writing Me Back to Mat(t)er* (a working title). Please let me know what resonates with you.
Across the years small whispers from this place of wisdom have sung to my own searching soul. When I came home from Bible camp in tears one year because I could not believe our church was the only one who had The Truth, she calmed my anger and fear by admitting she had never thought so either. Years later, she was the first I had heard compare God to an energy into which we plug. And to my concern that I could no longer pray, she replied with the words that changed the course of my life, “You pray every day – your journal is a form of prayer.”
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This is the third in a series of snippets from my memoir, Writing Me Back to Mat(t)er* (a working title). Please let me know what resonates with you.
According to Nana, I was to “act like a lady,” always wear a hat and gloves to church, stop coloring and stand during the prayers, always wear panties to bed, use only one square of toilet paper at a time, not to play too loudly or climb the lattice, and to keep my hair off my face, preferably in two tight braids, Laura Ingalls style. Although I watched Little House on the Prairie devotedly and adored Laura Ingalls, imagining I was her when I ran through the grass in my maxi-length party dress, to this restriction and just to drive Nana crazy, I responded by going through a phrase where I refused to wear my wavy hair any other way than down, hippie-style, and frizzing all over the place.
*The root word for Earth, Matter and Mother is mater.
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This is the second in a series of snippets from my memoir, Writing Me Back to Mat(t)er (a working title). Please let me know what resonates with you.
From the Prologue
Why had I forgotten? Why had I left behind the passion, the primal spirituality of the rhythm, the beat, the voice of my gypsy soul?
She is opposite to the woman I was taught to be. In my world any human hunger or need was to be suppressed, but She is hungry for life. She lives in her body. Listening to the rhythms and voices of the earth and Her heart. Passionate. Sensual. Sexual. Raw. She is the symbol of my real self, the self hidden beneath layers of indoctrination. But She was there quietly harmonizing as I sang, laughing while I danced, and stomping her feet as I swished my skirts. I did not recognize Her but She was there. But when I became a wife and mother I pushed Her completely underground. I had to. I had to become Mother Mary.
Posted in Memoir | Tagged authentic voice, authenticity, fear, mother, religion | 2 Comments »
This is the first in a series of snippets from my memoir, Writing Me Back to Mat(t)er (a working title). Please let me know what resonates with you.
From the Prologue
…for many women the relentless effort to be good had prevented the development of a more authentic voice.
For centuries, our culture has disdained matter, and so deep and so unconscious is our contempt for the body that we cannot see the rejection of the living body… Mothers and grandmothers for generations have despised their female bodies, their sexuality… The unspeakable black hole that many women face in their dreams is that place of rejection.
… mother and gypsy are one…
I am Silence I am Song
I am Gypsy I am Ghost
I am Hestia I am Aphrodite
I am Madonna I am Eve
I am Mother I am Me
I am three and all I want is a tambourine. I want to make it jingle, I want to make it sing. I see the women twirling and stomping, clicking their castanets, banging and shaking their tambourines, those flamenco dancers. Bright, full skirts and black full hair flare as they spin. Silver in their ears, color at their throats. The music pulses in my stomach in time with my pounding blood. Although tiny, I feel their passion in my body as if I was spinning there beside them. Once home, I can’t contain the fever those women have burned in me. The living room becomes my stage, my heart beat my tambourine.
 Belenky, Mary Field. Women’s Ways of Knowing, 209
 Woodman, Marion. Leaving My Father’s House, 362
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On August 16th, 2010 I wrote my first Trust the Process post. It was the beginning of my graduate school journey. Tomorrow I begin the end.
My last semester. The one when I pull together everything I have learned over the past three semesters into one piece of writing (well, two, actually) so it can bound in a black jacket and placed on a shelf in a dark room on the ground floor of Goddard College’s library.
Will a future student reading my introduction feel the intensity of the explosions that were blasting my worldview to smithereens my first semester? Will she press her temples while browsing my memoir, feeling the anguish of my second semester when I lost my way trying to find something without which I finally realized was within? Will he feel the high of multiple a-ha! moments as he reads my process paper? While photocopying my bibliography, will she feel the hot tears of frustration and mental exhaustion? Glancing over my curriculum, will they know what my students taught me about true wisdom?
No, they can’t know. They won’t feel every pinnacle and every dungeon of emotion I experienced while pursuing this degree. What they will see is another binder, another thesis of another faceless former student. They might read in my words that the experience changed my life, but they won’t know.
They won’t really know what a Goddard education is until their own work is bound up there on the shelf. They won’t know that it is a journey that takes you deeper into your soul than you thought possible. It tears apart your preconceived ideas, gives you more questions than answers and opens your eyes to the beauty of mystery. It is painful and it is beautiful and it is freeing. It is not merely an education, it is life quest that teaches you to think and to be awesome, and to do it with more courage than you thought possible.
I questioned at the beginning whether I truly needed a Master’s degree to have a career in my field. I am a writer and a facilitator, and no, I don’t need this degree to do those things well. But what I did need was the push to dig deep, to think deep, to learn hard, and to connect some very big dots so I could begin to heal my wounds. I needed to experience what I was learning, not just parrot what I was told as I had been taught my whole life to do.
I had to learn to know what I know.
And now comes the final piece: Writing it down so I can find out what it is I know. To connect what I feel to what I’ve learned. To see my new voice – my new self – on the page. And I can’t wait.
Posted in Trust the Process (The Goddard Chronicles) | Tagged authentic voice, goddard college, Healing, inner wisdom | 2 Comments »
Above all, don’t fear difficult moments, the best comes from them.
Rita, who passed away at 103
Are you a Wise Woman? Inspired by a recent gathering of Wise Elders where a 75 year-old great-grandmother shared this life wisdom with us younguns: “Remember to Laugh!,” for my 2013 blog project I plan to share the gems of wisdom of older women. Please send me your wisdom (or words you have heard from the older, wiser women in your life).
Posted in Wise Women Speak Project | Tagged fear, perspectives, wisdom, women | Leave a Comment »