When the moon reaches full I pause my busy-ness. I hold fire ceremony and make offerings, remembering gratitude and letting go of what I don’t need to hold onto.
Last moon I asked for guidance. My plate is so full, it’s a buffet line. I have a wedding to plan, a soulmate to marry, an educational venture, and self-employment moving out of the extra bedroom into a real office. I have travel plans, zoo visits, meditation retreats, volunteering, mentoring, a garden and all the duties I love as a househusband. I don’t know where I’m going to fit the dance lessons, hiking trips, and pickup games at the gym. This is the best problem I’ve ever had.
A modern day juggling act is my kind of performance. I meet my mentees at the zoo and work on my Lindy hop while watering the tomatoes. But my fancy footwork isn’t enough. I’ve been making time for everyone and everything – except my writing. When I turn my attention to the writing projects filling the pages of my brain, everything I’ve got in the air comes crashing down. Those flaming chainsaws hurt when they nick you.
Last moon I asked for help. I asked what I needed to do to get my pencil on the page. I asked how to keep it there without losing the quality of my juggling routine. In return for an answer I offered to follow instructions as handed down. I promise not to question “why,” to just “do” as guided.
I chanted and danced and tossed the offering into the fire. After a deep sleep I woke feeling different. At first I thought I was just well rested, but as the hours ticked by I realized something changed.
In my promise to follow instructions I thought maybe I’d write at night before all the laundry was folded, perhaps leaving the towels in the dryer – not jumping up at the sound of the buzzer. Or maybe listening would mean less time texting and playing on Facebook. I was pretty wrong.
Listening was my rite of passage. My writing mind crossed into a grown-up land. I’ve always just set the pencil to the page and let the words write out – like an artist doodling in a sketchbook. The stories are good but they only scratch the surface.
Looking back at this blog – this is my sketchbook, these are my doodles. They came out of my pencil. I applied a little polish on the way to my screen. And that’s that.
I started this blog about coming out as transgender. I was surprised by the support.
I got raw with my doodles (go back and look.) My inbox flooded with “me too.”
I flipped a coin to decide if I should write about MPD, a diagnosis I spent decades trying to evade. Heads it was. I kept the stories light and humorous, but it was a big reveal. My usual supporters were silent and I feared I went too far. Then I got a steady stream of “me too,” and “I’m so glad I’m not the only one.” And “no one else writes about MPD,” and “please write more, please.”
It’s time to make my art.
Here I am, as a grown-up, writing the story that almost kept me from reaching adulthood. I set a deadline to have the skeleton of my memoir together in a formal book proposal. I’m laying out the table of contents and refining the storyboard. I’m balancing the planning with the actual writing. I’m filling in the flesh and guts and muscle of my existence and searching for the tendons and ligaments to weave it all together. Each story is being worked and reworked to piece together the anatomy of my survival.
Thank you for reading my doodles. I will be looking for readers of both the proposal (sooner) and the first draft (later). As always, I welcome introductions to agents/editors/publishers.
If all goes well I’ll see you on the book tour.
It’s one thing to have a dream and another to go out and get it.