Lately when I write it feels like butterflies in my belly or helium in my heart. It lifts me. Something new is on the horizon. I can feel it in my blood. Almost like a fever. And I know I’m heading in the right direction. Dreams are being hewn and forged. My fingers flash like meteors on my keyboard, pounding out the metal-workings of my mind.
But just because writing gives me a jiggly, hot, helium-gut these days (hmmm, that really doesn’t sound like a good thing, come to think of it…), it doesn’t mean that the words come easy for me. Sometimes they do.
Some days, the words sparkle in the air like glitter, like dusty motes caught up in the sunshine, beams of beauty filling up my soul and the words falling down like magic onto my keyboard. The process is easy like Sunday morning. And the paragraphs simply spill out of me.
But then other days they don’t. On those days, my mind gets mired-up in the weight of the work. The sunshine flares and the sentences get heavy and coated with ash. The words don’t sparkle in the air, they clump in heaps, clotting up my lungs and computer screen and brains. And the magic skips town and the murk settles in. And the world is harsh as Monday morning. And the words glum up and refuse to form sentences, much less meaning.
This week I’ve had a bit of both — they’ve poured out and they’ve clumped up. And I’m thinking it’s because I’m pursuing a dream; I’m on a quest to reveal truths and to unearth gold. And it involves my writing, but it’s not simply my blog (well, it is, technically, I guess – but it’s more than that.) Because I’m not just telling my story. I’m telling other women’s stories, too — their journeys, their struggles, their successes, their truths. And it is a tremendous responsibility.
Because their story is all our story. Each one demonstrates another facet of the female evolution out of the primordial, patriarchal pond into the promise of the present, tapping into our collective unconscious and untangling the myths and lies to reveal truths instead. We too, are warriors and superheroes. We too, are strength and passion and power.
But revealing long-hidden truths is never easy. The way is hardly well-mapped. Really, it isn’t mapped at all – and it’s super hard to know where to dig if you can’t see where the truth lies.
And the truth does lie… or rather, the truth is lied about. We’ve been told for centuries that we are weak, that we are helpless, that we need to be told how to act and speak. That without someone looking out for us, we women could never survive.
Well, these women’s stories prove otherwise. They are all survivors. No, take that back, they are victors! And so are we all. We just have to believe. It is truth.
But the task of telling these women’s histories leaves me feeling overwhelmed and overtasked. Kind of like I’m living the life of the kid in The Alchemist, one moment blessings tumbling into my lap, and the next, nothing but scarcity as far as the eye can see.
But those butterfly wings and bubbly-heart beacon have never steered me wrong yet. So I have to take it as evidence that I’m on the right track and just keep digging – or typing.
As my fingers type, I watch what unfolds. And then I dig around. And sift. And throw out. And throw out. And throw out. And start all over again.
Because I need their stories to be as real and as true as their memory and my translation can be. And I have to remember that perfection is impossible — even though in this crazy, airbrushed, Instagram-ed world, we have been fooled into believing it exists. It doesn’t.
But reality is far better anyway. It has dimension and depth, shadow and shine. The world would be a flat and featureless place without all of those things. And so would we. Flat, fictional, and fake.
But these women they have it all: depth, dimension, shadow and shine. Some of them have struggled through incredible darkness. Some have climbed incredible heights. Some are family. Some are friends. Some I have reached out to. Some have reached out to me.
All are beautiful. All are real. They have flaws. They are not goddesses. But they are no mere mortals either.
They are Women.
I will try my utmost to do their stories justice…