Writing to Heal

MemoryA nagging thought.  An image, then words.

I open the notebook to an empty page, filling line after line, starting from a familiar place, and moving somewhere new.

From a seed come the first sprout, then as the thoughts thicken into form, branches emerge, giving life to leaves and fruit.

I am no longer seeing it just through the eyes of a 13 year old, 17 year old, 25 year old, 32 year old – but rather as who I am now.

I’m feeling and tasting and hearing it from a safe place, from the comfort of the family room couch, sitting on the porch, or a coffee shop table.

The quiet with just enough distraction, the hot coffee soaking the rootedness of family history into my cells, and the solid barrier of personal or anonymous space between me and the world.  Nothing new…all familiar…

…then the memories come, the thoughts.

Something deep is triggered, and the images transform.

It starts with a glimpse, a memory.  It emerges from a connection of neurons, somewhere in my body.  It travels along the nerves, moving through layers of newer memories, and then mingles with the sensations streaming in from my senses.  It surges from the hidden places into my conscious, details shifting in and out of the shadows.  This fragment of life – past and present – streams from my mind, down my arm, into my hand, and with hurried, tiny movements, comes alive through the pen.

The memory that finds its way onto the page is not in its original form – but sifted through a fragile mass of cells.  It is mutated through the sounds and thoughts, images and ideas that came after, rewiring the nerves themselves.

And through this, life is recreated.

The past is kept in scattered pieces in other minds and some lost forever, but the memory is no longer binding in mine.  It has been freed from the bindings of immediate experience, to be healed by the touch of love and patience.

The pen to paper.  A rewriting.  A recreating.  A new life born.

Lord, give us the strength to revisit our past, so we may recreate the present, and be joyful in the future.  Amen.

(Note:  I don’t think rootedness is a word, but it should be.)

A good, quick article:  Writing to Heal
An easy to read primer on trauma and the brain  by Theresa Burke, Ph.D
One of my go-to sources for everything neurology:  Committed Parent

About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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4 Responses to Writing to Heal

  1. gtrudelle says:

    Few things excite me as much as the site of untouched paper and a pen because so much is possible there. Thank you for sharing this.

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  3. Pingback: Mental Health, Healing and Spirituality | Sisters Under the Trees

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