The Right to Write: The Letter (book club)

image by Lívia Cristina L. C.

image by Lívia Cristina L. C.

This post is part of my 31 Days of the Almost Empty Nest series. My Wednesday book club series is a part of the journey—a way of exploring creativity during this season. I’m writing in community with the thirty-one dayers. Women all over the world are joining together in the month of October to write every day about something they’re passionate about. Check out some of the other writers here. So much good stuff. To read my first post, with links to all the days, go here. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a cool giveaway.

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Dearest Laura,

What do I say? Where to begin?

When you kiss your boys good-night, you remember your childhood…how you would huddle under covers and wait for mother’s soft hands. She always came. Until she didn’t anymore. You still remember, don’t you? You hold on to that child, long for her sweet smelling skin. But it all went awry. Can you let it go? I mean, really? Not this pretend game you keep playing, but really? Why do you cry when you look at the moon? Is He not in everything you see and touch? Hold out your hand. He is yours. You are His.

But you still fear that this is not real. You think what happened in-between is what is real. Why? Why, when this is where happiness is? When the before was love? When the now is love? The in-between only. Just. But love remembers. Love hopes. That is real.

This is real.

You are not a ghost person. You feel. Touch and see. This is no dream.

Your heart is beautiful …

So it began. My letter to myself. It went deeper than I wanted it to. It got under my skin.

In this week’s readings from The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, Julia Cameron urges us to write a letter. To ourselves. Not just any letter, mind you, but an Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque letter—a letter from an older and wiser eighty-year-old you.

This tool is intended to give you a higher perspective. So often our loneliness comes because we have lost the overview, the sense of the large sweep and movement in our lives. In this tool you are asked to try directly contacting what may feel to you like a mythological or archetypal character…Allow your Older Self to give you a sense of perspective, guidance, and right action…

So I stepped back. Took a look at my life. And asked myself, what do you want to say to this woman?

Turns out I wanted to say a lot.

I realized that I reacted so strongly to this exercise because I need someone to witness my life. This brought me back to that place I was years ago…that place that caused me to abandon The Artist’s Way before I even began. It brought me back to those dreaded Morning Pages.

So much of the loneliness of modern life comes because we no longer witness each other. Our lives are led at such velocity that we often feel—and are—quite alone…We need more and better witness, closer and more personal tenderness than we can offer each other long distance despite our good intentions…What writing brings to a life is clarity and tenderness. Writing, we witness ourselves…

I’ve started writing my Morning Pages, friends. Three pages of daily longhand writing, strictly stream of consciousness. When I started, I told myself I didn’t have to do it every morning—that I have my Morning Pages, they don’t have me. I have missed a couple days. I found that Cameron is right. When I don’t write, I feel out-of-balance … lonely … blah.

I’ve started writing my Morning Pages. How about you?

Three more chapters for next week: Connection, Being an Open Channel, and Integrating. See you on the page…

Week 5: I Go Alone
Week 4: Witness
Week 3: Invite the Muse to Tea
Week 2: Write from Love
Week 1: Start Where You Are
Introduction: Invitation

Above image by Lívia Cristina L. C., sourced via Flickr, used with permission.

Almost Empty

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