i believe in the power of story

every story I create creates me. I write to create myself.
— octavia e. butler

"What are you going to write about tomorrow?" he asked me last night as we settled into bed. 

"Ugh. I don't know. I hate this project. Why am I doing this project." I sighed. 

He chuckled and said, "It's ok. By the end of it, you will love it."

"No. I will always hate this project." I declared.

Eleven days in and I want to quit. I thought it would take a bit longer to get to this place of not wanting to do this, of questioning my sanity and the purpose of this project of showing up 100 days in a row to write about something or nothing at all. 

Why am I doing this? Why did I choose this medium, this mode, this way of expression. I could have done something else. I have an entire list of projects that I want to try. 

  • 100 days of of painting an hour a day
  • 100 days of creating faces
  • 100 days of sketching the body
  • 100 days of visual journaling
  • 100 days of meditation
  • 100 days of intuitive drawing 
  • 100 days of new recipes
  • 100 days of reading and writing about Women Who Run with the Wolves
  • 100 days of self care
  • and more . . . 

Why writing? Why writing and posting publicly? Well, I do know the reason for posting publicly. It is an accountability issue. This is proof that I am doing what I committed to do. Write. 

Do I really have to know the why? Can I trust that my inner wisdom has led me to this project because there is something here for me to learn? Or not? Does it all have to be a lesson? Can I just be here, showing up, writing and not worry about what it will produce within me, not concern myself with whether it is good or bad,  and not wonder if any of the words make sense? 

I believe in the power of story. I also believe that there are many ways of telling story. This belief was formed in my heart when I thought about the belief system I had left behind and wondered did I hold belief in anything any more.  I realized that I was finding beauty, truth, and grace in the same places I always had ... in music, in film, in books, in dance, in art. What was the common theme? They all told a story. 

Story is powerful and the storytellers have a great responsibility. To me, religion is story and the teachers and the preachers are the storytellers. They can tell the story in ways that invite and offer grace, mercy, justice, forgiveness, love, and compassion. Or they can tell the story in ways that promote division, suspicion, hatred, manipulation, and control. 

On my instagram profile, I say that I am a storyteller and I might be. I think I lost the knowing how to tell the story. I lost my words. My truth has not been lost or hidden. I've been walking in my truth for awhile now but I have stumbled into not knowing how to speak my words. 

One failed attempt at telling story, whether my own or another's, and the next time is more difficult. The next time brings more faltering words and long pauses. By the next time, I wonder if I am capable of putting sentences together. I lost my confidence in my ability. It seems now that my inner wisdom is leading me toward restoring that confidence.

I have learned to trust myself, to follow faithfully the leading of my heart. Though conditioned to believe that the heart is deceitful above all things and as a woman I am even less trustworthy, I have now discovered strong inner wisdom. The creative process is a never ending circle of listening, trusting, doing, listening, trusting, doing. The outcome is not the goal. The work is in the listening, trusting, doing. 

My inner wisdom spoke and said, write. I have listened. In trust, I am here doing. I am writing. Even when I don't know what to write. Even when I want to quit. I am here. Writing.