Sunday, November 15, 2009
say you're one of them
i had the privilege of meeting the author of the book say you're one of them. it was a sweet and simple encounter. as an alumni i received an invitation to a talk and signing by the author at my university. i had no interest in reading the book simply because i imagined the stories to be heartbreaking even if they are brilliantly written. and i wanted to spare meself the pain as i can be sensitive. but a talk and discussion with the author i can handle, so i went. it was quite sweet.
uwem akpan is a catholic priest of the Jesuit order, born and living in Nigeria. he spoke of imagined stories that he has written from the perspective of african children. apparently the stories are beautiful and heartbreaking, all at the same time. i may let myself read them.
the writer is quite warm and engaging as a bunch of us spent some time talking together. i appreciated what he shared as well as his presence. i also appreciated his discussion of balancing his call to the priesthood as well as his call to writing. he says he can imagine and invent characters on a page, but the characters in real life want and need care and attention too, and this cannot wait. so he endeavors to care and love as best he can in both worlds.
i mentioned that there is some stuff in the air and indeed there continues to be. dear reader, you cannot imagine how many opportunities i have run from and therefore missed in my life. to give you an idea, when i was in my twenties i was hired to model a bridal gown for the the cover of bride magazine. in my fear i did not call back right away to accept the assignment and this gig was given to someone else. because of my fear and issues with self esteem i have shied away from many opportunities. i know now that much of this could not be helped. there was much that needed to be healed... and better and stronger now, i truly feel like i am on my way. sometime i slip and want to run and hide, and sometimes i do, but i don't let myself do so for long before i must come back.
there at the discussion with uwem akpan, i listened closely and shared my thoughts and ideas as best i could. at the end of the discussion the author walked right up to me, introduced himself and we shared some words. i did not run and i did not hide. forgive me if i am proud of myself.
via email i have been sufficiently told off by a friend who tells me that he cannot get in touch with me and how unfair it all is. true. but i've meant no harm, these last days have been full in the most blessed way. i have been meeting an abundance of folks that are so in line with my heart's dream of being a writer that inspires. what started me on my journey for inspirational writing are the teachings of thomas merton. a catholic monk who's heart was not closed to the wisdom and teachings of eastern thought. in fact, he was friends with the dalai lama. though i am not catholic, nor of eastern persuasion (is that a term?), my heart and mind (in the east they are one) is always open to wisdom... well the other day i received another invitation to attend a talk which was given by a priest who is the priest of the catholic church of the monk that helped to set me on my writing journey. in this talk i learned a mountain of stuff about the writer who inspires me; his beatnik wanderings around manhattan as an academic, poet, writer, and artist. his time lived abroad in france and england, as well as his commitment to the trappist monastery. i was reminded of my love of sharing stories and ideas that touch the heart and lend comfort. i spoke with the teacher afterwards and he handed me his card with email so that we can make a date to sit down and talk about my call to writing.
yesterday my heart broke in the best way. i tell you the truth, the other writer who i admired, marianne williamson, was teaching at a beautiful chapel on 5th avenue. the very 5th avenue that houses tiffany's and armani... my kind of place! i was looking up a few things on the internet and ran into the information that she would be teaching a 1 day workshop here in the city. sweet! and yes, they tell me there is still space available to attend. so i go. i've read her books over the years, and though they are dreamy in a let's talk about miracles kind of way, i dig that kind of stuff. and i get to meet her. told you some stuff was in the air... the workshop was for 5 hours in a beautiful chapel on 5th avenue. she shared some good and helpful stuff in general, but in particular, when i paused during a break and talked myself into introducing myself, she was quite unkind and dismissive to me. i was heartbroken. maybe she's had enough of folk who admire her work and want to meet her. with that said i'm coming back around.
i was able to dip into my ownself and come up with some words of inspiration and encouragement in order to continue this journey. i am able to re-member something important, and i hope to remind you blog buddies, that if we do the stuff we love, we are on the right track. and if we do it and live it, things will begin to connect and unfold in ways that we have dreamed of or even better. and it won't look like anybody else's life or stuff, it will be tailor made especially for ourselves...
so, although she was unkind i was forced to remember that she is not the boss of me. and i remembered the stuff i love; writing, telling stories, yoga, learning languages, traveling and sweet kisses... if we do the stuff we love, it comes together in a way that sweetens our dreams and our lives... tell me, what do you love?
i learned too that sometimes stuff takes time, we may not get all our goodies when we ask for them or when we want them, sometimes it takes time, time for us to grow into them, or even time to realise that it's simply not what we need... time let's us know...
i shared a quote some time ago... and i still mean it... one who waits for something good, never waits too long. ~swedish proverb
when i last shared this quote i remember N. sharing about waiting, her waiting those nine months for her sweet baby to be born.
should i use a metaphor, that which we love takes time, and when we meet it, whether it is husband or wife, career or another dream... we hope and know with all our heart that timing says... now, you are ready...
the poet and writer rilke shares that we are to live the questions. and perhaps someday we will live ourselves into the very answers. when we are ready... that which we love... will fit like a kid glove; soft and lovely.
this post has been long. are you still with me? forgive me for going on, but i hope with sweet steamy cafe or tea in hand, it has been a meaningful read and worth your time. i'll be connecting with my friend who is mad at me for being away for too long. nice to have friends who miss us. and i shall be connecting again with you...