It’s amazing to me that anyone with a difficult past completes a memoir. The process redefines difficult. When Rob Roberge was asked about Liar at a reading in San Francisco, he said it was not fun to write and it wasn’t fun reliving it on the book tour.
The first vomit draft of my memoir was like ripping strips of my own skin off with a rusty razor, having it all restored at night, and doing it again the next day. Once that big-ugly-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink-draft was done, it took work to separate myself from the person on the page. That separation is necessary to go on to more drafts and to start to build a structure. It’s been about as much as I can handle and so this blog has languished again. Sorry. I think I’m back to weekly blogging now, but we’ll see. If nothing else, memoir writing is unpredictable, full of emotional triggers and black holes. With my editor’s help, I made the turn to approach it more like writing a novel and it became somewhat less harrowing.
Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from those triggers and low points, from rejection and the lows of the process. Why do some people become overwhelmed while others develop resilience? I don’t know. We saw it after the 1994 Northridge earthquake here in Los Angeles. Some people broke down unable to function and some of us started picking up the pieces after the sun rose. Perhaps that’s the gift (and I hesitate to call it that) inside trauma — nothing seems as bad by comparison.
Our knees are calloused from praying – we do not want our hearts to be.
We will not run out of tears. We will also not run out of bullets. We have practiced getting around bans for millennia.
We will not run out of compassion for those grieving. We can also choose not run out of wisdom.
Creating empathy in the human heart begins with the stories we tell. The best stories are not about “others.” They are about us.
#Istanbul #Orlando #Paris #London #Yemen#Kenya #NewYork #Somalia #SanBernadino#Tunisia #Brussels #Egypt #toomanymore
We all need help from time to time and you never know who you might help. Even those who are and will always be strangers. Robin Williams and David Bowie had no idea they helped save my life as a teen and adult. That is part of why your story is important. Whether through business, art, writing, acting, filmmaking, ceramics… you just never know what you put out that might inspire or save another. So yes, create for yourself first without judgment. More importantly, put it out there. We are all meant for relationship, even those of us who are shy.
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The first time I heard David Bowie, I was a suicidal teen alone in my room listening to the radio. His music and his artistry changed me. His songs kept me alive when most of my plans involved figuring out how best to end my life. He showed me how much more there was in this world and that there was a place for invention, imagination, reinvention. The voice, the presence, talent, personas, fashion, all of it, made an enormous impression on me. He was the only musician I saw in concert more than once. I prefer new territories to revisiting and that was part of his genius – there was always new territory. The news of his passing was a gut punch. I’d just watched Blackstar a couple days before and it didn’t seem possible he’d leave us so soon. I loved the way he folded all his curiosity about the world and ideas into his art; I love it that as he faced death, he created Blackstar to say his goodbye; I love it that he was smiling and gracious right to the end. Rest in peace and thank you.