Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘story’

In Search of a New Story

For the first time in my life I am getting the opportunity to take a creative writing class. It’s at the senior center and I have become an early member at the ripe age of 63. I fit in quite nicely there with my silver cane and cautious step. They have been warm and kind even though I still find it hard to express myself verbally as the facial paralysis continues. That’s where the writing comes in.

Writing is something I have been doing for the past 25 years to preserve what sanity I had left. I know, it’s questionable as to the amount of sanity still available. I’ve never been a story writer per se but I love a good story. So many wonderful writers out there weave a web that draws me in and I can’t put the book down until I see what happens to the characters. I recently read a story of a woman whose husband had left her for someone younger. When that didn’t work out he came and tried to manipulate his way back into her life. I had decided then and there that if the writer had her heroine take back the louse, I would never read another of her books. Lucky for her the story turned out how I wanted it too. I was caught up as though I knew these people. That’s the kind of story I want to write. I want to find where my creativity and imagination have been hiding and bring them out to play. Daily journal writing documenting the chaos that is my life is what I do and in a way it’s a story. It’s a “just the facts ma’am” kind of writing that if I told the whole story it could make you laugh, cry and curl your hair. It’s a story that I will eventually need to tell in full.

Though I am without formal education, at my heart level I think I’ve always been or at least wanted to be a teacher. Now I am trying to use my words to teach. For the time being, my subject is Bells Palsy; how I’m trying to heal from it and the consequences of not heeding the bodies warning signs that something in life isn’t working. My life was out of balance and now my body is trying to get its balance back. Funny how that worked out. It would help a lot if the Bells Palsy hadn’t short circuited the pathway in my brain that helps me find words but slowly and with certainty, new circuits are forming and old circuits are healing. Sentences are coming quicker and writing anything helps that healing process.

I’ve written well over 20 volumes of the same old story of my life. When I hear others that I know continue to whine about their lives I think to myself; either do something about it or shut up already. I’m pretty sure my family and friends were thinking the same thing about me. Thank goodness I’ve finally turned the corner with that. These last two plus years have brought the greatest and most positive changes in my journal writing.

Now I write about the actions I’m taking, like signing up for the class or getting the sewing and needlework back out. I write about the house I want to buy when the house I still jointly own with my ex-husband is sold. No, I’m not holding my breath. I have written the description of every room down in detail. My cozy cottage has a welcoming and spacious covered front porch with several wicker chairs and small tables so my neighbors can come and sit; sip tea or wine while exchanging ideas and stories. There is a library in this house and a comfy white wicker desk and chair to sit at and write. The kitchen is optional. I’d prefer take out from the local health food store or just fresh fruits and veggies.

I believe we create the life we live with our thoughts, attitudes and actions. My thoughts become words and then they can become real things. My life so far has me really wondering what the heck I was thinking back then. Through my writing I want to create the most interesting and fun life ever. I want to tell you about all the places I have seen in the world and all the interesting people I have met. Will I ever be a real writer? I don’t have an answer to that though I would like that very much. That’s why I’m taking a class. What makes a writer real? At the end of the day, I guess it’s the need and desire to put words together to express ourselves in print. Each of us does it a bit differently. That’s what makes it so very interesting. Vive la difference!

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home
. – John Campbell

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Expression

It’s the nuances of expression that we rely on to read the people who pass through our lives each day. Each face tells its own story. You can read a lot about a person just by looking at their face. Some have a soft smile that says all is well. Some faces look weary and you can tell life has given them a lot to handle. Some faces say “don’t mess with me”. I love to read faces almost as much as reading books.

I have found that the lack of the ability to share a smile with someone or a kiss on the cheek is something that has been quite taken for granted. It made me a bit sad when I realized I couldn’t give my son or daughter a kiss on their cheek when saying good night. The hug would have to do. The pucker doesn’t pucker. Good thing I’m permanently single.

I’m not a particularly vain person and have always been happy with my face. It’s of average symmetry with a little extra fluff around the jowls and some deepening wrinkles but for the most part, not a bad face, except for the fact that it no longer works.

My face has had some electrical therapy on the paralyzed side so it no longer droops. But it doesn’t move either. It doesn’t blink automatically so I have to remember to blink it to keep the eye moist. That also means I can’t wink. How I love to wink, especially now that I can’t. It’s like sharing an inside joke with your face.

But what I miss most with this half paralyzed face is my smile. I work very hard at it but the face just won’t co-operate. That’s how I tell my story when we meet. Yes, life has left me a little rough around the edges but I’m really glad to see you even if I don’t know you. That’s what my smile would say if I had one.
I rode the bus home this week after having a rough breakfast meeting with my ex-husband. After a 2 hour verbal tug of war with him, and a lot of walking to the bank, notary and fax center as well as shopping for the few groceries I could carry, I was tired and ready to get home. The bus was completely full. Just as a few seats emptied, a couple got on with their grandson. He was around 3 or 4 and had to sit on grandma’s lap first then moved over to grandpa. I so wanted to smile my trusty “you are so adorable” smile at him but it just wouldn’t materialize. Out of a bus full of strangers, one small boy that couldn’t figure out why my face was crooked was what I cared about. He’s the one I wanted to explain it to but of course that wasn’t possible. Now grandma, she had a nice smile and I carried it with me all those blocks from the bus stop home. Her smile said that little boy made all of the hard stuff worthwhile.

So how do we express ourselves without the face? A lot of the people I see don’t speak the same language. Nor would I verbally say what I feel to strangers or oftentimes even to family or friends. But the face can express lots of emotions that all languages can understand. Maybe my lack of expression was why it took 2 hours to end the tug of war. Expressions are how we decide if we want to get to know someone better. That’s what my face would say. “I want to get to know you better.”

From my heart to yours,