Popping Bubbles: An Excerpt From My Memoir Process

I am soon to launch a video course. It’s an invitation into memoir writing as a spiritual path; a way to tell your story, your way. I want to invite both writers and people who don’t consider themselves to be writers into this process.

Why?

We all have memories that matter to us. They float in and out of our subconscious like bubbles. We can let them float for years. We can let them float so long that we almost stop noticing them. But when we get quiet and intentional, we start to invite them to settle down with us for a bit. And then, oh then, we can pop them! We can pop them and release the trapped air–the moments in time that keep bumping against the door of our subconscious.

But why would we want to?

Some of those memories are painful. Some are traumatic even. And we’ve happily tucked them away. We let them float because we’d rather leave them somewhere in space and time. Away. Not invited in.

But they still exist. And they find a way of coming up. Often, these memories surface (again and again and again) because we need to process them. Because they are asking us to pay attention.

So whether you write through your memories because you have a pointed story to tell or because you simply want to pop some bubbles using the wisdom, time and perspective you’ve garnered as a buffer to look at the hard, beautiful, wonderful, brutiful life experiences you’ve walked through, looking at your memories is a powerful creative spiritual practice.

And for many of us, starting something like the memory-collecting/memoir-writing process can feel really daunting.

Where do we start? What do we write?

I want to help you navigate this process. I want to give you some tools–mindset tools, spiritual tools, and yes, writing tools–to help you along the journey.

And so, I have put together a “Memoir-In-Progress: A Spiritual Path to Telling Your Story” Course that you can jump into on your own time, at your own pace. If you are looking for some clear direction and processes to help you on your memoir-writing journey, this course is for you!

The course will be launching November 15th and will soon be followed by a Memoir-In-Progress Writing Community.

But as a precursor to the course launch, I wanted to share a little bit of my own writing that has come up as I’ve used the 4-step memory-collecting and writing process that I share in the course.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my own writing process!

There were things that had to be done everyday in the personal routine of self-maintenance. There was leg-rubbing and face-rubbing and calisthenics. There was nail-rubbing and hair-brushing and oiling. If something were going to be missed, it was not going to be this.

And then there was the maintenance of things of outside meaning and beauty. Bird feeders to be filled. Sin-sin to be replenished in the little candy dish. Walnuts to be propped in the bowl by the fire. The music must be put on before the morning fire was lit. The stone fireplace gave a subtle sense of magic to the house. Regality lives in a good fire. No matter how poor, how tired, how absolutely drained of this world one may feel, a fire revives. Itโ€™s poor manโ€™s magic. Once the fire and music was begun, there was food to prepare. Brown rice and honey. And maybe a bit of fruit.

She prepared it all, singing to the old hymns scratching off vinyl. From outside the sliding screen door, she could hear another music playing. A competitor. This was classical and much more dramatic than she cared for in the early morning.

Grandfather was in his studio painting. He must’ve left his hearing aids out, because the music was blaring. Feeling rather disgusted, she walked out the back door, through the glass bead curtains and opened the studio door. โ€œBatsellโ€ she hollered. โ€œBatsell!โ€ She walked right behind the giant canvas. She could see her own reflection in his glasses. She knew that though he couldnโ€™t hear her, he could most definitely see her. He finished his brush stroke and looked up. โ€œAh, yes Louise.โ€ โ€œYour music is far too loud. Can you even hear it?โ€ she scolded. โ€œWell, uh. No, I guess I really canโ€™t hear it all that well.โ€ Grandmother, without retort or any other form of communication, turned on her heel, puffed out a chest full of air and walked back out onto the patio.

She began a huffed walk back into the kitchen, but was stopped in her tracks by a โ€œthud.โ€ She turned to see a beautiful little hummingbird smack straight into the glass sliding door. Stunned by the impact, the little bird fell to the ground. Grandmother ran to it and picked it up. Not knowing how to help it, she wrapped it in a small towel and left it on the outdoor table. Walking back inside, she couldnโ€™t help but feel melancholy and a bit defeated. Beauty on the canvas, forced through music and solitude and time. So fabricated and feigned. Never quite enough.

And beauty in motion in the wings of a beautiful creature. Natural. Elegant. Simple. And now thwarted by a stupid piece of see-through glass. She looked back at the little creature. It was still and motionless. Devoid of life. She took it inside and wrapped it in plastic wrap. Placing it in her freezer, she heard the loud blare of Beethoven once again. The rice cooker beeped. โ€œThere he goes again!โ€ she said to herself. She ladled the rice into the bowls and covered the smoldering piles in fruit and honey. Walking over to the record player, she turned up the hymns and let the music play her into her day. โ€œHis eye is on the sparrow. And I know, I know, He watches over me.โ€

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