Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Last night was the final class of an 8 week Writing about Transformation class I have been taken at The Loft Literary Center.  This is probably the fourth class I have taken with Elizabeth Andrew Jarrett, a writing instructor at The Loft, and someone I highly, highly recommend if your genre is creative non-fiction and if you are exploring spiritual memoir, or any memoir or essay writing for that matter!

For our last class we were asked to bring two pages to share with the class. A chance for us to hear all the voices of the class. She asked us to revisit and revise an existing piece we had shared with the class and consider incorporating feedback and comments. I wrote a new piece titled 'The North Star' for my class. For the first time ever, I play around with a new structure ... a somewhat risky one, yet one I felt was important to explore ... I began with a dream (actually, more of a nightmare) that I had in July of 2008 that marked the beginning of a new level of healing around my sexual abuse from when I was 9 years old ... and my piece ends with a powerful dream I just had in July of 2010 right before I leave for Bimini to swim with the dolphins ... in this dream I am holding onto the leash of my dog Ahnung, and we are in heaven, and we are flying ... Two years ago I woke up in cold sweats as that marked the beginning of many more months of nightmares. A month ago I woke up with a smile to the rhythmic, snoring, comforting sounds of Ahnung.

Like a caterpillar, and prompted by a horrible nightmare I have in July of 2008 (and the spirit of my dog Splat who has been dead for 10 years and appears in my dream) I begin the painful journey of healing, and I break free of the silence and secrets that had been holding me prisoner. I look back at the two years and all that has transpired .... dreams and the healing power of dogs (in this piece I write about Splat and Ahnung) are the bookends for this piece on transformation. I wrote the original draft of my piece and turned it into my class right before we left on our trip for Bimini, Bahamas to swim with the dolphins. I realize there is more to my piece now as the layers of transformation and healing continue to evolve and I notice the connections and synchronicities. The WildQuest dolphin trip was transformative on multiple levels: for me personally on both an emotional and physical level; for my relationship with Mary as we had the opportunity to share an experience so beautiful I still struggle to find words for; and through the dolphins and the shared experience of the connections with them and our human pod, I learned to open up my heart a little more. And I have returned from Bimini, transformed in some new way.

What I know now is that I feel joy in my heart. And when I feel tension creeping into my body I have so many places to go to return to that place of joy and calm: the arms of my partner, a run with Mister, cuddling on the couch with Missy, absorbing Ahnung's healing energy ... and then there's always the incredible memories of our WildQuest Dolphin experience .... and these photos below, say it all ...

Mary and I ... pure bliss in the middle of the ocean ... with dolphins (and yes probably reef and nurse sharks and stingrays and moon jellies) swimming below us!

and my new friend Michele whose expression says it all!! Thanks Michele for the gift of your friendship ... we kicked off our friendship in the best possible way with a shared experience of swimming with dolphins, and now we are building on it with our shared love of writing and running, and I'm sure we'll soon discover so much more we have in common!

and then there were these absolutely awesome kids from London! 

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