Monday, May 19, 2008
Why am I dancing? I've been designated a finalist in the 2008 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD as I'm about to celebrate my 67th birthday, having never written a book before. What all that means in the real world, I have yet to discover. But, for today, I'm feeling exuberant about one simple fact: I’m not merely talking to myself, telling my story to my family and inner circle of close friends who would naturally appreciate reading it. My memoir - FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS is resonating with strangers - people whom I've never met but who have read, reviewed and then chosen to recognize the merit of my prose and the particular significance of my story. That, truly, is reward enough ... and reason enough to dance!
As I wrote in a piece submitted to the NY Times – WHAT MOTHER WOULD SAY – if my mother were alive, I have no doubt she’d agree that if telling our story could help even one person, then I should go ahead and tell it. And tell it is what I have done!
So, if ever you feel passionate about doing something, don’t allow anyone to discourage you! With hard work and determination, most things ARE possible!
As I said in a previous blog, writing FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness (over a period of 15 years) was not cathartic, as many readers, at first glance assume it must have been. Only now, after the fact, as I am able to hold the actual book in my hands, see the house in which I grew up on its cover, and know that all that is written inside its 300+ pages really did happen, is the truth as I experienced it and survived it … only now am I able to acknowledge a feeling of catharsis: the actual process, however, was filled with a full range of feelings of love, loss, and loyalty. It was extraordinarily painful living and re-living the horrors as well as the more mundane moments that helped shape my life, allowing me to forgive without forgetting, to move through and beyond trauma, and most importantly to dream BIG, to extend previously held, limiting beliefs of what is possible – beliefs which confined our family to our four rooms and filled every waking hour of my early years.
I am reminded and humbled by the words of - Edgar Allan Poe:
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep …
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Posted by Linda Appleman Shapiro at 5:31 PM
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