Back in 2012 I was a student at Bendigo Regional TAFE - studying Professional Writing and Editing. One of our subjects was Fiction writing - not something I am drawn to like I am with non-fiction. Nevertheless I enjoyed this creative writing task and had no idea it would have any relevance years later when I was naming my Blog and subsequent business.
What you may find interesting is that the experience I describe in the story is based on the truth - sometimes when I sit and write with a problem on my mind answers appear in different handwriting and a voice that is not my own.
I believe this to be my inner sage. And I believe you have one too.
Another storm is looming, and I’m not surprised. Its potential ferocity is unnerving and I become more unsettled as the darkness sets in. Taking refuge in my grandmother’s old tapestry chair I sit in silent terror, waiting, wondering when this one will pass.
The downpour comes, and it’s relentless.
Every tear falls with the heaviness of lead, as the weight of the past six months loosens its restriction. There is nothing left to do but write, so I surrender to the words that long to be released. The woes of my world spill onto the page; feelings finally given the chance to speak.
The tears subside as the words take over, my hand barely keeping up.
Then she arrives, and we talk on the page. She is not invited, but always welcome; her presence grows as her wisdom flows.
She is calm when I am despairing. She is discerning and knows exactly what to say to bring me back to the present. She is my hope, when I feel like there is none. Her voice is firm but gentle, her intention clear – always to remind me that I can.
We relax into our familiar roles: mine of seeker, hers of sage.
I trust her even though I know nothing about her, yet deep within I sense that she is part of me. Her mysterious showings began about a year ago. For the first time, I wonder if she has a name. The goose bumps come and I instinctively know they are a joyful recognition. Her name is Elizabeth.
I feel shy even after all we have shared on paper. Marveling at her timely presence, I thank her for being there when I have felt so alone. She replies fondly, declaring that she does what she does out of duty and devotion. I flick through my journal, pausing to reflect on each of her offerings. I am astounded. Line after line of support, insight and intelligence.
Where does this voice come from?
The answer arrives magically, spontaneously on the page.
She is me. The wise, all-knowing, eternal me that is beyond the physical. It’s time I took notice.
Calm restored, I move from Nanna’s chair to sit at my desk. A wistful sigh escapes as I slide the window open. I am aware of a resignation within, a determination to do what I need to do. A life of contentment could be mine, if only I had the guts to go for it.
So why not? What have I got to lose?
Only the most successful newspaper business in the country – my father’s baby, the one he birthed long before I was born. His desire to bring light to the social ills of society drove him to be a journalist. That and his passion for prose were all he needed to create the great Australian icon that is The Daily Times.
We’ve always been close, Dad and I. We share a love for words, a talent for writing, and a passion for the truth. He groomed me, lovingly, skilfully, doggedly to take over the paper. I was ready, revered...reluctant, remorseful. Once upon a time I wanted what Dad wanted, but a niggling doubt grew into an absolute certainty – I did not want to run the paper.
I’d always believed that my true inheritance was Dad’s empire, but lately I’ve been questioning my purpose. My passion for telling the truth is still strong, but somehow it’s different.
I’ve become more interested in feelings than facts, realising that it’s not what we see with our eyes but what is felt in our heart that matters most. I could ignore this burning desire to write about the human condition – as I have done for years, but at what cost, whose expense?
Dad will be devastated if I turn down his succession, but living his image of perfection is taking its toll. The paper is everything to him; I actually believe he loves it more than he loves me, but how can I deny my real inheritance any longer? I still want to write, I still want to report the truth, but my truth – what I feel in my heart, what moves me, what connects me to life.
What I want for myself and what Dad wants for me are two different things – I don’t have the energy to hide my true feelings any longer. I want to write about the stuff that matters; I want to be more of who I am, on and off the page. My true nature yearns to be free.
I glance down to see Elizabeth’s affirmation glaring at me from the page. I can. I have to.