I am a mother of three, and l’ll go ahead and admit this up front, a five-time grandmother! A wife (twice), a writer (always) and a teacher, I’ve also been a singer and performer, the youngest daughter of Pat and Shirley Boone, so my point of view reflects a slightly bizarre perspective: a member of a family with a highly public persona combined with that of a sort-of preacher’s kid. It’s an interesting mix, and although I don’t think I am in any way special, I believe that my experience, and the lessons I’ve gathered, are both valid and meaningful.
I am not writing to purge, or even really to process. That train has left the station, and I have diaries that go back to the 70s to prove it. Mostly, I am an observer, interested in writing the journey. Writing helps keep me awake and present, and it offers a vehicle for meaningful inner dialogue although it often leads me more frequently to questions than answers. For instance,
Channeling my inner child, I wrote “Stomp” in July, 2013, reflecting on the terrifying sensation of feeling invisible, and even worse, muted. “Why don’t they hear you?”
It’s a solid question, and this poem widened an opening for me as a writer, enough to at least consider the possibility that the reason people didn’t see, hear or feel me was simply because I was whispering… and hiding behind a mask.
Full disclosure, growing up a member of a very public Christian family caused me to fear too much authenticity, and to refine the art of restraint to a degree that left me almost utterly muffled, both silent and resenting the silence. I was afraid of my mistakes, and afraid of being exposed in all that imperfection. Confused about the quality of true unity, I had managed to manifest a sort of group identity without really latching onto one of my own.
I’m not gonna lie; I’m still figuring out who I am. But this process of writing, for me, is not so much about presenting a constructed self, or about building, block upon block, what I think or believe, but it is more concerned with tearing away the restraints and expectations I placed on myself in my youth, along with the beliefs that no longer resonate. And I have given myself permission to speak about it…out loud.
My voice and story continue to evolve. but the themes I am drawn to are recursive:
I believe that transparency is healing. I want to be honest about who I am and what I feel, even when I fear that the truth may attract disrespect or even ridicule from others who see or feel things differently.
I believe in challenging my thoughts and memes because they simply aren’t always accurate or trustworthy. Many of the ideas I built my belief system on were forged in the fires of necessity long before I had the perspective I have today, a perspective that is continuing to evolve.
Finally, I want to hone in on what remains, long after the little storms of life have sanded away the flaky facades of my constructed self. What holds true after we have begun to really surrender our addictions and attachments, our longings and resentments? This is what I am curious about, and it’s why I write: to study and reflect on qualities to which I am most attracted, like honesty, compassion, transparency, and acceptance, and to reach out to a community of people swimming in a similar stream.
Originally written as an About Me for y blog, Frequency of Fullness. For more, go to http://www.frequencyoffullness.com/