We stand. Side by side. Sometimes I follow. Others I lead.
This sounds a bit cliche’. Rehearsed. I tried to think of other fresh ways to say it, but this encapsulates my truest ideals as to where I am and how I arrived “here” in this place of knowing and comfort. Writing has been an almost full circle moment for me. I say almost because I know this circle of humanness and vulnerability. Of guileless courage. Of rawness and openness that’s ever evolving within me, both as a human and as a writer (warrior), is never ending.
. As I sit down to write, there exists a beautiful juxtaposition of the very human woman who hopes that her writing resonates with others, who worries it’s not enough; and the warrior writing soul who writes because she can’t stop. Her words bold. Unfiltered of reason or fear. This marriage is full of compromise and awe for the respective roles they play: knowing that one cannot exist without the other.
The warrior and the human. The louder than life voice and the gentle whisper in my heart. Somedays we need to scream. Others to speak softly. But most often we need a peaceful coexistence so as not to stir a kindred spirit.
At first, writing was benignly putting my feelings down on paper for no one but me. It was documenting the scattered, crazy first days and weeks of our son’s life. Then it became a letter to my son as we prepared to say goodbye to our brand new baby boy.
As the years went on it meant writing presentations on behalf of children with disabilities The warrior baby lived. Then again, it morphed into deeper feelings as I began to write short stories and poetry on diversity and love. Wanting both of our children to not just know, but to feel the difference between accepting diversity and celebrating it, as well. All, still, for just one purpose though. Never revealing too much of myself.
I leisurely played with fun writing jaunts and tucked them neatly away for a book one day, perhaps. I really didn’t know for sure. I only knew the release, the high I felt as I gave my fears, my thoughts and my joy over to the permanence of black and white. While for years it was only myself, the paper and my pen that sat in this elite circle.
What first took my (human) breath away has become my purest form of (warrior) oxygen.
The warrior and the human. One has broad strokes written with a steady hand the human won’t always attempt. The other’s hand is shaky, written with a depth of emotion the warrior can’t afford. Still they walk hand in hand. One walking closely behind the other, as if to receive strength or vulnerability through osmosis.
Writing is the involuntary spilling of my heart and soul onto paper.
Writing has meant turning muddy waters clear. Writing is the very water that’s shaped me gradually over the years without my knowing…as water will. “For in the end it is the water that shapes the stone.”
Sharing my first writing with someone felt as if I was walking around with my clothes on inside out. I didn’t know if I was ready for everyone to see all my seams and loose stitches, my size and care instructions. It felt surprisingly uncomfortable. It was far too revealing and awkward. Almost unnecessary in its details.
The joyful and painful moments in my life and all the dust particles they bring, mix together to settle within my soul the way dust particles tend to do. Filtering in and out, obliging me to sit with each one no matter how minuscule or fleeting. Allowing them to pass through me. And as necessary to adhere to my being, never to be swept away. As if they were crystalline particles reflecting energy back to me.
The joyful and the painful: conjoined with all the dashes in between, have led me to this curious place of openness. To a reverence for the process of writing. An altered recognition of all the pathways that have brought me to this juncture in my circle.
And so the human – in all its transparencies of skin and paper, and the warrior – in all its opaqueness of might and daring…continue on.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and know what you want.” Lao Tzu