Once Upon a Story

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. ”
~ Michel de Montaigne

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I woke this morning with a sense of tears just below the surface, no matter which positives I choose to focus my attention on.  And I have a lot to be positive about.

I have also been lately attempting to write the story that’s trapped inside of me, using a trick I learned in a writing workshop.  I promised myself I would only write my story if it can do two things:  1) Be a story without a victim, 2) Be therapeutic or helpful to anyone, even just myself.   The writing trick is to begin with “Once upon a time” and write your life as third person, restarting the phrase whenever you are stuck.  All I arrived at over and over is a variation on this sentence:  “Once upon a time there was a woman who was terrified to write the truth.  Every time she stared at a blank page, she went for a walk instead.”

Someone at the workshop gifted me the wisdom that maybe the body carries the story that words cannot.  Maybe the body is the last place we look to when we process our lives.  It occurred to me that is what endurance walking is to me.  It’s my story in motion.  Walking is my salvation, my meditation, my strength, the one consistent theme in my life even if the journey makes no sense to anyone else.

Today I asked this question:  “What can I do when I wake with tears?”  My eyes were drawn to a Rumi collection on my bookshelf.  And I swear to all that is sacred that I opened the 300-page book to this answer to my question:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy; a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 

 

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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