Episode 85 Prisms From Our Wounds

July 17, 2023

Good morning from Martha’s Vineyard. I finished the Chilmark Writers Workshop that I did this week with the legendary Nancy Aronie here on the island. I’m ever so glad I was able to attend. I simply love being in a small group with people I don’t know. People from all walks of life, all with different stories to share.

It is a very intimate, personal and  painful thing to hear the stories. Of course, they’re not all sad stories, but as Nancy often says you see people running businesses, taking care of their children, running off to their job or their family vacation, and you can’t see the wounds of their heart. She also talks about how important it is to get these stories on paper and to look at them because when they’re lodged in your body, they cause illness. These last couple of days have been heart wrenching, but also very beautiful. Many people surprise themselves when they put pen to paper.

Anyway, the story I want to tell you today is one that Nancy told to end the workshop. She said that everyone has a wound and we see through the prism of our wounds. I asked her to expand upon that a little bit and she told a really great story which has two parts. First, she told us about the fact that she saw her father drop dead right in front of her eyes when she was about 15 years old. She talks about seeing father daughter stories and how emotional it makes her. She then told a story about her husband Joel. They had just met and she really wanted to know that he was a man of substance. She knew he was very balanced and very emotionally stable, but she started asking him questions like what’s the worst thing your mother ever did to you ? Or tell me a time when your father bruised your ego. He just didn’t have a lot to say and she was wondering if he was perhaps still too emotionally tied to his parents to get married. Was he the type of partner she wanted to go to the altar with ? Anyway, he eventually told her a story about being bullied in school for his big ears.  It was just a quick story.

Anyway, let me fast forward to when I asked her to talk about that we see through the prism of the wound, she told a story. One day they were walking down the street and they walked past this father with his two children – actually, it was two daughters. Nancy said she got past the family and that she had her ‘feelings’ about seeing the father with his daughters when her husband turns to her and says, “did you see the ears on that kid?” I thought that was a beautiful illustration of seeing and hearing stories through the prism of our wounds, and I could immediately think about the prism through which I heard many of the stories. One in particular stood out to me as soon as Nancy said that about the prism of the wound.

One woman told a story about her experience working with chimpanzees in Uganda. The details and the arc of the story spoke to me about mothering and motherhood. I would say that for sure one of the biggest heart wounds that I have is that I did not have the opportunity to become a mother, nor to carry a child. Yes, I know there are many ways to mother and many types of mothering in the world, but I mean that I was unable to bear a child. It was a very painful thing in my life at one point.

Anyway, I would say that all in all, besides hearing the beautiful writing and the beautiful stories, it was a very visceral reminder that every single person we encounter carries some sort of wound. Hearing their stories is not only a privilege but it delivered – I think for every single person in the room –  the gift of compassion and of love. I love every single person that was in that room because they shared their heart. So thank you, Nancy Aronie. It was truly a gift and a  privilege to be in your presence. in your circle.

That’s all for now until next time from my heart to yours.

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Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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