I’ve been rereading Writing for Your Life, and I wanted to find some things I had written, either inspired by the book or written in workshops with Deena. I went looking for the material and have already posted some of it.
Written this morning:
That was exciting, to find the material from the Deena Workshops and Retreats. Rereading Writing for Your Life opened up something, a desire to write that way again and a fear that I can’t do that anymore. I posted the 5-minute autobiographies. I read through all I had written. There were several pieces on a page I had apparently given to Deena. I read through part of the booklet of writings of participants in the week-long retreat at Martha’s Vineyard. It was overwhelming. God bless Lynelle, she helped me see the connection between the headache, which started as I was reading, and excitement and fear about the writing. When I started talking about the writing, the headache began to fade. I also read her the 5-minute autobiographies. She thought they were powerful.
I’ve been feeling stifled and frustrated that I haven’t been able to even get up into my studio and think/imagine about painting. I’ve lately done only a little bit of work on my box of stories. I did start the clay project, but there’s more work there before I can begin making figures.
Last night, Lynelle asked for my feelings to see if there was a homeopathic remedy for the headache. I said “Exploding” and then saw the image I’d seen before after some work with Erica — maybe I should paint it! — an image of multicolored stuff pushing upward and starting to open, a little like a plant or a flower except that the pieces were all squashed together. There was a sense that they had been cut up, cut off, cut down! pressed together — yes, there was trying to hide them, cut them off, push them down — and now they are getting out, the genie is getting out of the bottle, the baby is waking up and she’s too big for the box they tried to put her in.
Deena talks about writing the story under the story, the real story, not the one we tell ourselves, or others tell about us. In the 3 autobiographies I see this progression. The surface story has changed, there’s pain there now because we got divorced a few years later, and I thought he would still be my friend but he just cut me off. That was more painful than the divorce.
The third piece clearly speaks to the PTSD I didn’t know about yet, volcanoes and bitter craters. Trees won’t grow here for a while yet — because the hard volcanic rock has to be broken up, broken down, aged and weathered, eaten by lichen, pierced by roots, and finally, ages and ages hence, become soil that can support a plant as big as a tree. I’ve been told that volcanic soil is very fertile.