I guess, I should let you know that this blog will be written using the principles of “free writing”. Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones, teaches a writer to release the editor, and feel free to write the freshest thoughts in your mind. These are the “pearls” of this blog. They are my pearls, and no one else’s, though they may be spawned by someone, in the end, they grew and gave birth in my heart and mind, and so, they are my thoughts, freely written.
I started writing maybe a million years ago, it feels like that, but the exact moment was when hubby and I had our last marital counseling session in November of 1990, the Monday before Thanksgiving to be exact. We had taken off that day to have this session because we normally met with Bill on Thursdays promptly at five pm, though we always waited anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes or longer for him to finish up with his current client, which meant that we would also leave someone waiting, and they would leave someone waiting… It was understood. So, with Thanksgiving throwing a “turkey” into that plan, we took off this day and met with Bill for our final session of six months of weekly visits.
Bill had been asking me all through our therapy together, “What are you going to do with your life?” I was shocked! What did he mean? I had already taken care of the terminally ill for 10 years, and now had changed to being a Unit Secretary on the surgical unit and was applying all that I had learned at the bedside (and, by the way, the bedside was my life’s schooling) and I was feeling good about everything. My work was NOT the reason we were seeking counseling, yet every single session it came up. “So, what do you really want to do?” Quite frankly, it pissed me off.
This final session we were joyous and a little nervous. We’d gone from, “I want a divorce” (me) “Well, I don’t” (him) to “We know that we love each other completely and our marriage will last forever.” (Us.) In those months we’d found a place of true safety, a friend who understood us, and no matter what happened to us, it would not directly affect his life, so he had that beautiful distance of honesty, the buffer from “this is gonna hurt me” observation. We were going to miss talking about ourselves and our healing and how we were doing. So, we were a little anxious about losing our weekly companion, but at the same time, we had been totally freed of everything that held us back. Did our pasts change? No, but our understanding of how our pasts affected our present had, and we were beyond happy.
I asked Bill, “Did you know we were going to make it?” and he said, “Yes.” And I asked, “How did you know?” And he said, “Because you had found the reasons why you fell in love, and once you embrace those reasons, no matter what you go through, your marriage will last.”
Hmm, that was interesting, and I knew I would need to ruminate on that, and have in the past 24 years since that day, and will continue to ponder it, because it’s so beautiful to know that love truly never dies. But more on that on another day.
Right at the end of the session, it came again. THE question. “Now, what are you going to do with your life, Bonnie?” And the answer came without a single hesitation from a cell in my heart I didn’t know was actively speaking. “I’m going to write.” Bill nodded his head and laughed in the odd little giggle that he laughed with, and Rick looked at me astounded, and it was decided right then and there, and ever since that moment, in one way or the other, I have been writing.