I have always been a writer. My journals, if I still had them would date back to October 1st, 1989, the day I arrived in Edzell, Scotland. With the exception of just a few years after my Mother died, expressing myself in writing has been my go-to healing modality. I’ve written poetry, monologues, and bits of dialogue for stage performances. My writing has always been self reflective, and when I thought of writing longer pieces, memoir generally came to mind as the genre of choice. It’s true, writing in a journal or in a blog has been the pathway into my own dark secrets, deep loves, and shadows. My feet could always find the way through words. Indeed, it was through my journal that I discovered that even my words, written privately, were not always true. Not the complete truth. I admitted to myself that, even in my most private writings, I avoided my deepest fears, my anger, and my darkest desires. I filtered them. I couldn’t quite bring myself to touch them.
I am, above all else, committed to self knowledge. Truly. I believe that knowing my Self, exposing my truths and becoming vulnerable and Big are the keys to my own evolution as a human and that these actions are critical to my development as a healer. Becoming honest about my own dishonesty was giant. I started being very deliberately honest in my journals, and I felt an immediate freedom. Something was lifted, and perhaps that was enough. But I think there’s more, and I think I may have found the way toward those truths that are more deeply hidden, nearly forgotten, sticky.
I’ve recently started writing fiction. Lately I’ve been diving into characters and locations and events that never happened to me, and strangely, I’ve been discovering nuggets of forgotten truth in the process. Writing from my imagination has been stirring the cauldron of my memories in a way that writing my day-to-day truth, even once I decided to be radically honest, could not. Today, I wrote a microstory for a challenge in a Facebook group – a 250-word story about a woman drawn by Fate back to her abuser. It is a terribly dark story, and it is not a true story, or, at least it’s not my truth. The details are not factual. The characters don’t exist. The location was chosen in a Google search. But the feelings and the flavor came from a deep, unrelated story that has been sitting inside of me. I even noticed that the first letters of the characters’ names were meaningful, though not connected to the thread of feeling and flavor. It feels like I have tapped a vein deep in my own psyche. The blood in that vein has a bit of poison running through it; writing that story released the poison, but I need to go further if I am to discover the missing truth and heal.
I use trance frequently as a part of my own spiritual work, and writing fiction feels very much like trance. When I journey in a trance, I see, smell, touch, taste, and hear things that are not always complete. They are fleeting sensory experiences that fly across the curtain of my mind too quickly to catch. I need time out of trance to process what I experienced, and I use pen and paper to do so. Writing fast and without critique allows those fleeting images to define themselves. Writing fiction is like a trance journey into another world. The characters, dialogue, locations, and sensory descriptions are lights skittering over the top of windswept water. I can’t catch them in the moment. I need the time and space to be able to pull those skittering lights down deep so that I can touch them. I bring them to my journal. These impressions, these bits and pieces, these whiffs of scent. And my pen brings the truth home – whatever truth is there. Through this combination of fiction and self reflective writing I find my way home. I am slowly drawing the pieces of myself inward and exposing them to my own heart. This is, for me, the way toward Wholeness.