I am participating in the Writing Contest:
How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life.
Hosted by Positive Writer
I can see her still ... a little girl on a big rock. She fondly called it her "thinking rock". It was her safe place, her space that placed some distance between her and some very difficult situations. It was there that she created her first poems. And it was this poetic play with words that led to song writing, first changing lyrics to already popular songs to the words she wanted to sing, and later on to weaving her own brand of introspective storytelling. It was a true love affair ... with words, with time spent by herself, and with the turning over of ideas in her mind in order to paint a picture either of the world as it seemed, or of the world as she so desperately wanted it to be.
You might have guessed that this little girl was me. Growing up in a home with a drug addicted father, a mother who was suddenly forced to return to full time employment outside the home to make ends meet, and only one sibling more than 7 years younger paved the way for some serious family dysfunction. But it was in exactly that place that I discovered a way through the rough terrain of my day to day experience and found a growing passion to be a wordsmith.
To bring order out of chaos ... Isn't that really what creating does? God hovered over the waters and brought order out of a primordial cosmic soup. Made in the image of our Creator, we too are creative beings. and that process that we call creativity serves us well - in the messiness of our own daily lives - to bring a degree of order to the mistakes and misgivings of our daily existence.
This has been one of the greatest gifts of my writing. Writing brings a shape to the madness, a form to the unkemptness, and at times paints a startling portrait of my dis-ease. After the long labor of the creative birthing process - there it is! Written down in black and white in neat rows on a page that can be read and reread over and over in order to somehow make sense of it all.
Then when the time seems right - to be shared with the rest of the world, so you also can read and possibly relate to the words. Writing at its best captures the essence of an experience in such a tangible way that it becomes one with yours, or at least gives a compelling description of yours, as the reader. And simply reading someone else’s written words can be cathartic for those who may have trouble expressing themselves, or difficulty discerning how they feel inside.
I have had ample affirmation that this is so. I once wrote a song about my sister's struggle with depression. I sang the song at a Songwriter's showcase in a Border's bookstore in Chicago. At the end of my set, a woman came charging forward, almost leaping over the chairs in front of her, saying that she had to have that song ... the one about depression! Who knew how much listeners would resonate with that song that told a small snippet of my story? You never know.
So I keep writing ...
for myself and for the good it may bring to another struggling soul along the journey. Because in this writing and sharing comes a glimpse of hope, a shared sense of being in this thing together, a bit more understanding about myself and my life experiences that lets others know they are not alone in their struggles and that they too are heard and understood ...
if only for that suspended moment when the words on the page
meet the eye of the beholder.