March 31, 2013 § 1 Comment

ImageIt’s a rainy Easter day in Virginia.

I feel trapped by my own unwillingness to move forward.   I have raised my children and no longer actively “tell” that story, the mothering one.  I am frightened by calm, though, and so start stories again.  But they go nowhere.

I suddenly read, in Anne Lamott’s book, BIRD BY BIRD, this, from her chapter on moral points of view:

If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don’t even bother finishing,..

Yes, yes, the dining room paint job, the memoir, the garden with weeds.

… that you lose interest or faith in them along the way,..

So, half the room’s chautreuse, what about it?  And the memoir was sappy.  And to hell with the weeds.

… it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately. 

Silence.  She’s struck a vein.

You need to put yourself at their center, you and what you believe to be true or right.  The core, ethical concepts in which you most passionately believe are the language in which you are writing.

As if she were inside my mind, hearing the cry.

You see, my core was my children and their safe raising.  That done, I’m done.  Until I discover inside myself another story with a believable core.

Thank you, Anne Lamott, for a new way to look at what, on this gray day feels like total death.  It may well be much greater, and better; may be the pause before moving on.

And I sense, without the frenetic energies of childrearing coursing quickly in and sapping out of my frame, as they did in the heat of it, in the sweat, the hysteria and bliss, that what energies I am building in this moment’s pause, the moment of the end of my story, I sense these energies will be stronger because their origin is deeper.

Their source may well be that place where mothers go after they have learned how to mother and done it well and passed on the scepter to willing and younger initiates.  Where they sit and watch and smile.

Just imagine what depths of experience and understanding, and what great stored stories exist at motherhood’s secret core.  Just imagine what those women know.

If we could get to the heart of what we know, imagine tapping into an ages old source of wise old stories.

Just imagine even a small part of this ethical core influencing today’s MASS MEDIA.

And here, without warning, I’ve gone from Lamott straight to Lennon.


And then influence the telling of stories worth finishing.


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§ One Response to The CORE of a STORY WORTH TELLING?

  • My favorite Anne Lamott quote is her prayer, “Help me, help me, thank You, thank You.” Getting to the heart of what we know requires tapping into our own inner core, which can be a scary thing. My passion was motherhood, too, whatever way it played out, whatever way needed by the souls given to me for mothering. This, I believe. And now, my passions are quiet, gentle, often solitary. And joyful. Many are my unfinished projects, but the ones that matter will play out to the end.
    My part is to show up. Simple, but not always easy.

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