The Girl I was…

“The Girl I was once knew it all
the rising tides and nation’s fall
how to achieve peace on earth
the value of a woman’s worth…”  
And then I forgot.

Afraid to Lose You
Long lonely nights waiting for you to come home
from a night out.
Listening for the sound of your truck
in the driveway.
Worrying that you drank too much–again.
Praying you would make it home
safely.
Unable to express my anger
because
if I curse you,
tell you how your behavior
is hurting our family,
I might lose you.

I was under a spell cast by the society I grew up in.  It said that a woman’s highest role was to be a good wife–satisfy her mate, care for his needs, make him happy, help him to achieve his goals in life.  I would find my fulfillment in that.  Structured within this belief system was the notion that my own self-actualization was not a valid desire.

WRITING PROMPT
Have you ever had a sense of being under a spell?
If so, what helps you to awaken?
Write for ten minutes without censoring  yourself.
This way of writing has been termed “free-writing”.

Following is my paraphrase of an old myth involving King Arthur, Sir Gawain & Dame Ragnelle:

King Arthur is given a life-threatening challenge by the mystical knight, Sir Gromer Somer Joure–“FIND OUT WHAT WOMEN MOST DESIRE AND RETURN HERE IN ONE YEAR WITH THE ANSWER” OR ELSE!  King Arthur enlists the help of his nephew and trusted knight, Sir Gawain.  Separately, they roam the countryside seeking the true answer.  As the year is nearly up, they compare their notes and realize that they are no closer to an answer.  The despairing King rides off into the forest seeking inspiration of some sort.  This is precisely when the unattractive old crone, the Dame Ragnelle, appears to the King and offers him a solution.  In exchange for the true answer, she asks for the hand of Sir Gawain in marriage.  Sir Gawain accepts the proposal to save his uncle’s life. As it turns out, the Dame Ragnelle has been under a spell herself.  When Sir Gawain respectfully and tenderly takes her to the marriage bed, she transforms into her true and beautiful self.  Another enchantment broken by the power of love.  With all of this, can you guess what answer Dame Ragnelle gave to the King?

WRITING PROMPT
What would your answer to this question be?  Free-write for ten minutes.

(Dame Ragnelle’s answer
is forthcoming in the next blog.)

 

For now, here are a few WRITING TIPS for  you.

To begin this journey, you will need a journal or writing pad, a comfortable-to-grip pen,
clothing that does not bind, a good chair and sufficient lighting.  Decide what else you need to create your space for writing.  Could it be a favorite lamp, a flower in a vase, a candle, a centering stone, a feather, a seashell or a card from an inspirational deck?  It would be helpful if you had a timer for timed writings.

Writing Saved My Life

I began writing about my personal journey as a woman–daughter, wife and mother–when I was 27-years old.  At that time, I fell into a deep depression.  Prior to that, I hadn’t experienced the seeming slum of depression.  The landscape was foreign and frightening. I had one confidante, my younger sister, though she was busy with her own burgeoning family life.

My husband, five-year-old daughter and I moved from San Francisco to a suburb–away from what was familiar.  My marriage-constrained husband virtually abandoned us there, working long shifts in the city and after work, playing handball and drinking with his buddies.  The relationship was seriously fractured.  The journal page became my salvation.

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The intention of this blog is to encourage your writing process through sharing my own and other’s poetry and prose.   Having given creative writing workshops on women’s themes for over ten years, I offer you writing tips and prompts.  I have credited writing for saving my life.  And with that, I feel I owe writing a debt of gratitude. Therefore, it is my desire to promote writing (and creativity) as a “wake-up” tool.  With any inward pursuit, it is wise to go only as far as is comfortable.  And, do seek professional support if that feels necessary.

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WRITING PROMPT
For me, this depression was a wake up call and a turning point.  I invite you to reflect on and write about a turning point in your own life.  Set a time limit for yourself.  When you finish writing, read it aloud at least two times.  Ask yourself, “Is there more that wants to be said?”  If so, write some more.
I find it is a good practice to read what you write aloud, to yourself.  And take a moment to let your words sink in.  This is your writer’s voice.  It has value.

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Have a beautiful day.