There was something I wanted to keep dreaming. I keep the lights off, light the candle, dim the screen on the computer monitor, start to type. Can I find it again?
The therapist says to me, you are so afraid. She asks about my anger, and we end up talking about fear. I am afraid my mother will leave me again, I am afraid my stepfather could still come after me, I am afraid of failing and of succeeding, I am afraid of being too much and not enough. I think about the small one in me, still so afraid, probably 12 years old, that kid who was so angry. Something got stopped there, around her fury, her sorrow, her confusion — wait, this isn’t really happening, is it? He’s not really going to talk to my mom like that? He’s not going to be allowed to talk to us like that, is he? She’s going to call him out, she’s going to challenge him. This isn’t going to be our life.
Didn’t I think for a little while that maybe that wouldn’t really be our life?
Good morning good Monday morning. Here, things are just beginning — it feels like they’ve been churning for hours: thin dreams, half-waking, in all the worlds at once.
The nablopomo prompt for today is another from Ricki Lake: I was terrified to go on DWTS, but facing my fear and overcoming it has been an incredible experience. Have you faced fears and overcome them?
There’s another prompt that my friend Ellen offered me recently: What would you write on a piece of paper that you were going to burn immediately after writing?
Today I head out to the Tomales Bay Writing Workshops, head out for a five-day writing workshop with Dorothy Allison and deep writing community in a place that I love, and it’s thanks, completely, to you.
A few months ago, I applied for a fellowship to this workshop, and then didn’t receive it. I had told myself, initially, well, if I don’t get the fellowship, then fine, I just won’t go. But I got the letter informing me that I’d been placed in Dorothy Allison’s workshop and they hoped I could join them just the same, even though they had given the fellowships to other folks. Something in me said, the writer part said, we have to go anyway. I couldn’t afford it, not without help. We had sudden bills that were coming due, family business that needed dealing with, low enrollment in workshops — still: we have to go anyway, the part in me said. Just ask for help.
Something from this weekend:
Living on the edge means recognizing those places and experiences that do not offer me easy answers, those fierce edges of life where things are not as clear-cut as I hope for them to be. There is beauty in the border spaces, those places of ambiguity and mystery.
– Border Spaces, by Christine Valters Paintner