A wise friend once told me (in regards to writing), “every story has already been told, it simply hasn’t been told by you.”–Gordon Bethune.
Writing, in itself, or even the desire to tell a story can feel like a curse. When you’ve read a bunch you realize, that nothing is really original. I could rip a page from every book I’ve ever read, bundle them all up into a ball thrown to the floor and in those words, those crumbled pages there is a story, one, if put in the right order, I can honestly say that there lies most of my life. Adventure, risk, love, abundance, sacrifice, feelings off loss and being lost, anger, forgiveness, survival, success, failure, rebirth, surrender. I know in every story told of joy, I have known it too, in my own way those moments when you could simply burst at the seams from feeling so full and satisfied. In turn, with every story of loss, although it is not my own, sorrow and grief being so singular, I can nod my head in agreement, my heart beats to the rhythm of my own loss but in that, I can see yours too and that, I suppose, makes us human..
I don’t think any one of us would ever admit to living an extraordinary life but each of us, in our tiny corners, however hidden from the rest of world, we do live these lives. Each time you have taken a risk, fallen in love, given birth, known with all your heart that being alive is hard yet miraculous, or as a friend recently said, as we bumped into each other on the street in Lambertville, knowing each other’s history….it started like always, with laughter, grand and so full it fills up the air around us. She said, behind dark sunglasses…hiding tears, I can presume. “Damn! life is fucking hard, isn’t it? Like really fucking hard.” As soon as she said it, we clung to each other, nearly holding the other up, again more laughter, without ever saying what was at the heart of it…we couldn’t, not then, we would have been in a puddle. So we kept laughing, hanging onto the other, recognition and knowing flowing through that touch.
The longer I live on this Earth the more I feel as if I simply don’t have any answers. I find myself, on days like today, searching through old journals, notes and pages with random thoughts I’ve had along the way, trying to remember a time when I had it just right. What I’ve found is that even in my most content, joyful memories is that there was a struggle, questions, uncertainty–all the while, I was still landing perfect cartwheels, laughing with friends, relishing my solitude, never losing that wondrous child-like view of the world.
Today I pulled out an old Mole Skin (mini-journal), that has traveled the world with me. Tucked inside, a map of the London Tube, an old airline ticket stub (so worn, I can’t even make out where I was headed or coming home from) and a mini sewing kit (the kind you get in hotels??). It screams of my spontaneity, so random and obscure and I laugh at things I felt important to jot down and hold close. So in honor of the randomness of life, the unexpected….Here are a few of those wild, untamed, funny and sad random thoughts, simply because I don’t have the energy for new ones.
“Sitting all alone in a hotel room, sad, depressed who are you going to turn to? the latest edition of Cosmopolitan or the Bible??” (Apparently, a quote from a flight attendant friend of mine, when she was talking to me about not being religious but coping with her mother’s passing, and being alone, as we often are as flight attendants, she had a choice, (she chose the Bible).
On the very next page: “Dutch Spa (in Europe). NAKED!! Walking sculptures. Hundreds of them!! Exposed, liberating. Big, small, every body type–scars, tattoos in hidden places, every imperfection for the first time, I am actually ‘seeing people’, not their clothes, not their story or profession, you see a person, stripped of everything except their skin. This is who we are collectively as a species, not our cars, our jobs….we are SKIN AND BONES with all sorts of stories and tales to tell living on the inside. Be primal!”
Next page: “Paris. Le Comptoir de Archives. Brunch with Lora, Barbara and Nazzenine.” Day three: Breakfast at Paul in St. Germain before heading out for a day of shopping and Salon Du Chocolate!! Chocolate INSANITY!!”
“Oubliette’ French for, ‘to forget…….’” (I didn’t know at the time but how I would beg for that word or the meaning of it months later.)
“While I walk on, the moon keeps pace beside me, friend in the wake.” (kitchen chalkboard at a friends house, Lavaur, France.
“Here still in Lavaur….paradise really, (travel Gods have smiled on me).” “Days alone in the South of France. French not improving but my navigation and driving is (when in Rome) Smiling helps with the navigation. Nevada (the pup I am sitting) and I have our own language. She’s deaf but I’m certain she loves the soundtrack from The Moulin Rouge. Feeling at peace. Sleeping well. Cody keeps me company, even though he is half a world away. Baths up to my chin in Lavender every night=Heaven. Dancing up a storm, who is there to see??”
“Oh NO!!! I think I might be addicted to French cheese, chocolate and wine. Can’t sleep through the night without it!! Trying to imagine that I am glued to this bed….I do not need chocolate in the middle of the night!!!”
“Ok..I did. But it’s France…..and again, no one else is here..but there are those ladies in town at the boulangerie…..” Dawn, you are allowed decadence…..isn’t that a french word???” “French improving, must be the chocolate or the bread, cheese and wine!?”
“Running from another potential Tsunami. (Maui). I have time to record this because mother is in the bathroom, so if we don’t escape and this is found, it was because of my mother’s nervous stomach.”
Again….sooo random and skipping time and space since I don’t seem to date these things…
Near to the last page, in a scribble of words, written in red ink, I wrote (this I will spare you the scribble and crossed out words),
“But gradually she began to think it wasn’t the lack of love that made her feel such agony and loneliness. Yes, the sense of loss was savage but not the love. Love is love, we are simply the ones who dare to go there.”–Dawn Richards (in a pub central London.)
Well..that’s just brilliant. That one still…gets me. Wouldn’t want to go back to that place in my head but hey…for a random pub thought.
So there….I wrote today. Everyone happy? The crowd is silent…oh wait…yea, it’s just me keeping score. So, in that case, screw proof reading, editing and all that other business. I’m done for today. A storm is brewing and there is nothing like an afternoon thunderstorm.