I remember exactly where I was when I drew this picture. I can conjure up every detail in my mind and yet I can choose which details to share, which things to describe, and what feelings to imbue it with. It was summer, the air was warm, and I had settled down with a pencil case full of sharpies to see what would happen. The pencil case is one I still use now: a fuzzy grey Totoro case bought for me by my friend Zoe. I always smile when I look at it because when I thanked her for it she said "it's okay, I know you like that big cat". And, saplin's, she was right. I do like that big cat. Some of you will smile or perhaps just understand. Some of you might need to Google "Totoro". Some of you will do none of this and read on because you don't care about the pencil case at all.
There's something multi-directional and explosive about story telling. It fills up every piece of fuzzy atmosphere floating around us. I could write anything at all, but I'm choosing to write this. I'm thinking about Wonka's glass elevator and how story telling is like pressing a button and whizzing passengers away to the next unimaginable place. Then I think about how it isn't like that very much at all. Now I am sitting in a muted purple computer chair. Now I am thinking about this quote:
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break" - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
During my teens and later during my time at university, I didn't appreciate Shakespeare. I remember sitting at my kitchen table crying over an assignment about Hamlet because I felt I couldn't understand it. My mom still giggles when she remembers the time I said in frustration, "if I could go back in time I'd tell him to put the quill down". A few years later, now I can enjoy it without a follow-up essay, I am finding so much wisdom and comfort in the words. I might even re-read Hamlet for the bazillionth time and experience it differently...but don't hold me to it.
I have had, you might say, a bit of a month. I love the start of April. It starts to feel like spring. Even when it rains, it smells warmer outside. There's lots to be enjoyed and thankful for in my personal life, especially during this time. I've been sitting and thinking about exactly what to write about "this time", and then I started typing about what the rest of April is like for me. I deleted all of it, the words stopped sounding crystal clear in my mind, my vision started to feel like it was going white and buzzing at the edges. Deep down I believe that telling your story is so important and I have always been so encouraged by others to tell my stories, make use of my writing, and produce something personal and individual.
I am not telling my story today. I'm not going to take you on an adventure in a glass elevator or fill every synapse and neuron of your minds with images that might give you a glimpse into what it might be like to walk around in my fluffy slippers. Perhaps I'm finding value in allowing my grief to knit itself up a little bit before I start tugging at the loose threads. My story is mine to tell, and I'm still working on the courage to tell it whilst I listen, in awe, to all of the stories being told to me. Please know that if you have shared your story, reading it is filling me with the strength to share mine - someday.