Thursday, March 17, 2011

Storying Toward Discovery

I am writing some stories of my life and learning a whole lot by writing them rather than telling them. I’ve told many of these stories to many people and often at family gatherings. Some of them have never been told. None of them have ever been told in the ways I am writing


Originally I wanted to write these stories as a way to self-disclose to my therapy students about my own course toward becoming a therapist.  I wanted to demonstrate my own self of the therapist work I was doing. It is possible these stories could still work that way, but they have evolved quite a bit from the original intent. They’re turning into a love story, but not a romantic love story. They’re turning into a love story between me and my father.

One thing I am realizing in writing these stories with the trajectory of redemption is that I don’t really know these stories that well. It is not until I reflect on them and work hard to select the right language that I begin tom know these stories. I am also learning how connected these seemingly unconnected stories can be.

Another thing I am learning is that these stories change as I recall them. They change on their own, but I can change them as I write them. My memory is suspect and that is certainly permission for interpretation. How cold, how hot, how much rain fell, how much it hurt, what I knew, what I didn’t. It is all important to tell it right, not factually.

Finally, there is a lot of meaning to these stories that I could not possibly have been aware of when I was living the stories. Only in recalling the stories is it possible to even begin to unpack the meaning. This has been the most amazing and rewarding part of this. When I sit at the keyboard and think, what did that mean, I find “that” could mean lots of things. I have context to view myself.

Writing is perhaps the most healing thing a person can do.

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