Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Story Cake

I'm on holiday!

You can tell right?

I did one of my favorite things while visiting home for the holidays: took leisurely time to enjoy coffee at a Starbucks. 2 of my siblings were available and my parents. In fact, I even invited my oldest daughter to join us. I told her she had really turned a corner. At 15 she was having her first coffee, even actually drinking coffee (as opposed to a foo-foo I'm at Starbucks but won't drink anything that tastes like coffee-coffee) with the grownups.

The 6 of us sat there and did precisely what I love to do.
We told stories.
We laughed because my brother tells stories with (we suspect) added drama.
We chuckled because my sister gets defensive when we tell the stories about her stubbornness and tendency to have caused me angst as a child.
The siblings got hysterical when mother throws her hands up in exasperation. She can't believe we remember her acting like that.
My dad's whole belly shakes with laughter because these are all new stories to him. Most of these antic happened while he was out driving his big rig and we never had the nerve to tell him what happened while he was gone.
My daughter laughed and laughed and laughed at our stories. She shares that she is hoping someday she'll have moments like this with her 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I think think she will. The shear fact that I have 5 children comforts me that we still have a crazy life ahead of us full of potential memories. My daughter doubts me. She says all kids do now a days is play video games and sit at the computer. They never make their own fun. We all get solemn for a moment pondering her theory.
Most of our stories revolve around our friends in our old neighborhood. The very same neighborhood I drew a map of a few entries ago. I loved it! All the memories I recently explored and pulled out of my memory grew in strength and power.
Sitting there and watching everyone toss in their memories and stories ... it felt like we were creating something. A fancy cake perhaps. Or a gourmet meal.  
I had some ingredients - memories.
We tossed in a few more ingredients - other's memories.
We mixed it all up with drama.
We baked it.
Frosted it with humor.
We decorated our Story Cake with characters and what we had created was a beautiful masterpiece. It was everyone's favorite flavor and we all marveled at how much we enjoyed it. We savored our creation.

And I was thankful for my neighborhood map. It came alive that day at the coffee shop. Our memories and friends, even our past tragedies and victories came to life over lattees and mochas. I was transported on the sound of laughter to relive those times.

That's why coffee shop visiting is one of my favorite things to do. To me it means talking and visiting and storytelling. Stories are powerful. We need to tell them more. We need to live today so that tomorrow we'll have a story to tell.

May you make your own story cake.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Assignment Time Line

My next Assignment in my book is to pick a year and create a time line from memory about that year.
I'm totally hung up on this one. I have a great internal fear that I can't remember anything. This is the very reason I picked up this book. Don Miller aptly gave words to my insecurity (in his book A Million Miles) that my life is nothing but a blur. Nothing noteworty. So boring I can't even remember it.

And even if I can decide on a year to timeline; I mean what year should I choose? There's the obvious, year I met Aaron, got married, had a kid, had another kid, had twins, got a job, bought a house....but each of those things happened in their own years. Each one is a year unto itself. That makes for a boring timeline. (Of course there's this year I could chronicle, but that's just too fresh...not going there yet).


I really don't know how to start on this one... the thought often comes to me that I could pull down that box of journals hidden in the back of my closet. But that would require digging into the back of my closet. Where I keep all my memories - you know - out of sight, out of mind. Not that there are bad memories there...that's not what I mean at all. I mean there are a lot of memories there. I mean, think of all the mental energy it will require of me to read a dozen or more maybe legible many not scrawled handwritten books just so I can assemble some sort of timeline for a silly-nobody-will-ever-even-see-even-if-I-ever-get-the-courage-to-show-someone assignment.

What do you think? What year should I choose? A recent year so I'll feel good that I can remember stuff? or Is it worth the work of digging and prying into the dark cobwebbed corners of my mind?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Write Everyday -working on it!

Today I wrote 2 things!
One, my weekly parenting article for the Review Atlas (it will run next Tuesday, December 14)
and this ... from my exposed, feeling a little brave, ready to show myself.... blog.

click here --> SIKORSKI7 website BLOG

Julia in Eat, Pray, Love

This is me! in my very own life!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Bad!

"The great stumbling block of the creative mind is the awareness of self from the perspective of others"
Don Miller

This is a very raw quote for me. I am turning it over and around and thinking about it and reexamining it.
Didn't I start this blog because I wanted to control what people think of me?
Don't I stare at this screen night after night and imagine what I think you would like to read about (even though there is not even anyone out there - yet?).
And don't I have secret things hidden in my heart that feel so powerful and yet too intimate to share?

And so what am I to do? If I write what is so important to me, what is in my soul,  I risk telling the personal stories of the people I love who may not want me to share their story... but it's part mine too ...
what if it's TMI (too much information)? Just because one has a free blogsite should one post whatever she wants without regard to discretion?
and what about renowned blogger MckMama? who has recently posted in her blog that she left her husband? is this much access to vulnerable information going to make us a better society?
because I don't want my words, my story to be thrown out and mixed into an overloaded cyberworld.
I want to believe my story isn't just noise added to the chaos of internet blogging sensations.
I want to believe my words are powerful.
I want to believe that I don't care what you think about my words.
But I do
and I'm clearly an idealogist who's expectations are running a little high.
Any my husband can tell you ALL the stories of when I've let my expectations get the better of me.
And so now I rethink about Don Miller's quote ... and I think I'm at a stumbling block. Cuz I don't want to write what I want to write because of the self awareness you might have of me.
but at a minimum my soul is eased because I wrote today. I am supposed to write everyday. sigh.

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