Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life. Instructions for living: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. –Mary Oliver
After the old, the memoir, comes the new, PMS – Post Memoir Syndrome. Flight Instructions: A Journey Through Guilt to Forgiveness, tells of how in 1972, at a time when I felt I was walking in a fog, I took flight. An inner summons was calling louder than anything else in my life. I was forced to pay attention, and consequently was pulled from my family. For a long time I was consumed with guilt and shame, but I continued to pay attention and put one foot in front of the other.
Forty years later I wrote my memoir hoping to sweep away the last remaining crumbs of guilt that would lead to forgiveness. However, the book went far beyond that. It turned out to be a voyage of self-discovery, a story of triumph over demons, and of claiming my authentic self.
What began with me leaving turned into the unification of a family, of love, and of healing. I began my memoir by writing scenes, and as they unfolded I was amazed at what began showing up on the pages – a strong woman, page after page.
My journey included joining the army and educating myself all the way to a PhD! I lived abroad! I taught at a major university! I was definitely astonished! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would go on to accomplish so much. All because I answered an inner call. And, I’m telling about it!
As Rev. David says, we must listen with our hearts for the heart always speaks to us about things we cannot see; the Invisible wanting to make itself visible.
This “new” me, PMS, is being revealed gradually, sometimes subtle, sometimes not. I feel the sensation of being free, and eager to see how that freedom plays out over time. I believe in magic, and fairy dust. In fact, I saved some of the magic dust from the book and it has doubled in its proportion: ready as needed.