“We record unspoken experience in the mind and body, but unless we can story it out, experience remains inside us shrouded like fog hanging over water. We may act on these unspoken tensions, but we act blindly. We whistle bravely forward, a small, lost skiff, sounding a horn in the mist. And often we crash upon unseen shoals. Unarticulated experiences that are not allowed into the story can show up years later as trauma, disease, mental illness or a midlife crisis. But when these same experiences are shifted into language and successfully worked through in the healing power of story, they lay the groundwork for transformative personal development.”
Christina Baldwin, Storycatcher, Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story
I’ve found myself crashing into “unseen shoals” these past weeks as I begin to bring my hidden stories to light … the ones cached in deep mud at the bottom of the river. The ones I really don’t want to live through again, but know I must in order to make sense of who I am and where I’ve come from. I know the ending of my story will be a happy one. It’s how I retell the stories of what happened in the beginning and in the middle that will make it so. It is a painful and difficult journey. For the time being those stories need a bit of protection before I share them. I will keep writing here, sharing resources and timely stories that will balance out all the rest.
Christina Baldwin’s book from which I took the quote above, is powerful. I plan on rereading it as I move through the next months and bring to light more difficult times. It’s a must read for anyone wishing to write memoir.