It was a printed copy of an email I sent to my dad in 2002, which although it came in time for Father’s Day I was too sad to open it with my father’s passing. In the last few weeks I have come up with a lot of creative ways to describe how I feel such as, “covered in molasses” for my sticky inability at times to leave the house or that I am wearing “vaseline glasses” to describe that under water feeling where you feel a little bit separate from the world. I’ve told people that I am raw. Raw like someone took that 70s Lava soap which is “pumice-powered” and scraped me inside and out. I have also described myself as a, “scrambled egg.” All of these metaphors helped me to pinpoint my exact feelings- especially when it wasn’t just “sad” or “despondent.” Would you even tell anyone you are despondent? Would simply being “sad” fit the bill? Not for me.
Of course, it is the beauty of words that keeps me writing and my love of it that makes me want to pinpoint just the right turn of phrase. Fourteen years ago, I wrote to my father, “I wanted to write to you and let you know how much I love and respect you and Mom and am bottomlessly grateful for all you have done for me. I have been coddled and guided through a very hard part of my life post-boyfriend, post-New York, post internet, and I am a very lucky person, and I know this. I am grateful for all of your hard work and support and I want you to know that I appreciate it all, very deeply, and consider myself blessed to not only have a wonderful, funny, warm family but this support for graduate school as I try to transition my life.”
I very well could have written that yesterday, and I am so happy I did write it 14 years ago. Beyond being “lucky” and “coddled” and “bottomlessly grateful” I am also working on new metaphors for my life. And what to do when life gives you a life changer? I think it is Personal Mapping time – please join me in attempting this writing and drawing prompt. It is a powerful way to start to define your own personal cosmology and see your current perceptions of your world on paper.