Safe Keeping

It would make sense that Junebug would fall for someone whose words came so easily because for her, she always felt there was a huge gap between thoughts in her head and the words that came out of her mouth.

I received a card a few of months ago from a woman who was a graduate student at Peabody when I was in First Grade. After my dad died, she worked with me once a week. Her card said "I remember you as a six year old dealing with your dad's untimely passing and how we worked together to help you grow stronger and regain your verbal skills and voice."

I was so shy and so afraid to speak because I felt so different after my dad died and I desperately wanted to fit in at school. It was hard in the aftermath of my home full of kids to have a voice or a sense of belonging. It was easy to get lost. I don't blame anyone. Grief just has the kind of power to stop everyone in their tracks and its hard to find a way through it. But Junebug was always determined to find her next step and eventually become an adult who could recover parts of herself that were put away a long time ago for safe keeping.

It is still so easy for me today at forty five to have my voice knocked out of me in the same way it feels to have your breath taken away when you jump in cold water or are punched in the stomach. When we lose our breath for a second, it is not comfortable but we can rely on our automatic nervous system to make sure we find our next breath. But our voice, we have to find on our own.

I imagine a six year old who has a very sacred treasure and she does not want to lose it but she does not feel safe holding onto it. So she buries it deep in the sand. So deep in the sand that she is not exactly sure where to find it and over time, she is not even sure what she buried. But she knows that something is there and she goes back to the beach with a shovel and starts digging and digging and digging. Sometimes she can hear the waves of the ocean rolling in and out as they have since time began and she knows she is getting closer and sometimes she hears the crashing of self-doubt on the shore.

When the waves of self-doubt come crashing and my voice feels buried so deep, writing and sharing my truth are my way of committing to recovering that treasure. Sometimes I just have to trade my shovel in for a larger one. Thanks for reading and encouraging me to keep writing. In the words of one of my favorite quotes by Ram Dass, "we are all just walking each other home." 

My dad on the beach in photo below and the song is a throwback to an oldie that always spoke to me.