In life we are given precious gifts. Mine happens to be writing. There are days when the words sing to me and I have to listen. And then there are days when the world spins a little on its axis, leaving me empty. Regardless, I look for the lessons learned and continue on with my life.
My thoughts are just thoughts and perhaps by sharing them with you, you will find something useful and if after reading my thoughts, you don't, no worries, I totally understand. I am, however, grateful that you stopped by.
On June 9, I was at a writer’s event in Eden Mills. Eden Mills is a small village outside of Guelph Ontario, nestled in a valley, away from prying eyes and unless you are adventurous or know the beauty of this little village, you might totally miss it. When I was growing up, my father drove through Eden Mills often. As the years passed, the frequency dwindled and when I got my licence, I didn’t have any reason to drive through this quaint village, and if I did it was simply by chance. Even as a writer, I have yet to attend the Writer’s Festival held here every year. Perhaps this fall I will as a guest and one never knows, one of these fine years maybe as a speaker. Yes I can dream and I hope you do the same.
I found out about this particular writing event from a friend of mine. I have been fortunate enough to have her in my life for the past year. She is a writer herself and has kept me posted on local writing events. I wasn’t sure I would go to this one, as is typical with me, I hum and haw about events such as these. Do I want to take time out of my weekend to attend, is the drive going to be worth it. You see I live an hour away from Eden Mills and although driving time isn’t a worthwhile excuse, there have been times when I have allowed distance to dictate my decisions. After a day or two of bouncing the idea around, I ordered my ticket. Although I had no idea what to expect, I knew I would benefit being around other gifted writers where I could share my writing and feelings in a safe environment, it would also allow me to spend time with my friend.
This wasn’t a typical writing event where you took something you were already working on or started on an idea you had. The point of this writing was to explore your feelings and get them down on paper. We had a number of exercises using different props to get our thoughts flowing. The first exercise included candles and music. We were left to write about whatever came to mind. We could remain at the group table or go to the adjacent room and write. As it turned out, the adjacent room was an old church. From the inside, short of the pews and organ, one might not know it had been a church, from the outside, the aged stone walls gave it away as having been there for a very long time, longer than I have graced this earthly planet.
When I found out that we could go into, what is now called, the sanctuary, I jumped at the chance. Old buildings, their history and stories attract me but they also comfort me and when I can, I embrace them as I did on Saturday. One thing I know for sure is that I am truly an old soul, a part of me knows I have been around this world before. And perhaps in that previous life I had a connection to old buildings. These old buildings with all their beauty open up my mind to incredible visions which I can’t get onto paper fast enough and for that I am incredibly grateful.
The music and the setting allowed me to write from that place of inner knowing and to be one with myself. No worries, only writing and letting my true feelings flow. I wouldn’t have to share my writing if I didn’t want to and this particular piece, I did not want to share.
I love writing from a place of safety and recognizing feelings and thoughts that have followed me for far too many years. Thoughts that serve no purpose but thoughts that have guided me through my life and left me in tears and frustration at the end of some days. What was interesting about this piece was the fact that I was seeking approval but questioned, if I didn’t get it, did it really matter? As I write this article, emotions well up in me, as I think about my need for approval after so many years. A moment of wanting to know if the people who are most important in my life, are proud of me and yet knowing, all that really matters is if I am proud of myself.
Other writing that day involved using pictures as a way of expressing an event or why we were drawn to the picture, taking words on magnets and putting them in whatever order you wanted to create a poem or using ten memories of your life and arranging them into a poem. The most significant exercise for me involved a writing prompt. The prompt included a few short sentences to give us an idea on what our writing should be about and see where it took us. As I thought there were only three, I decided to choose the one that represented being a lioness. My short passage revolved around a character I came up with many years ago. It was easy to write and this piece I decided to read. What I didn’t expect as I was reading the piece, were the emotions that came to the surface. Imagine writing about being a lioness full of power and strength, a strength you have never felt in your lifetime and then reading your words aloud. I can remember the moment when my real emotions came to the surface. I could feel myself weakening at my words. At that particular moment, the power was in my writing, not my speaking. As I write this, I am still trying to figure out why the emotions came to the surface as they did. Is it a fear to recognize my power around others or the fear of taking action, action that I have never taken before but that I knew needed to be taken at that particular point in the story? The moment I wrote about, has the potential of becoming reality but if I can step into Camilla’s shoes, the strength I have always wanted may come to light, but can I be so sure?
By the end of the day, I realized my memories of past events need to be put to rest. Repeating the same thoughts over and over have only brought me pain and kept me stuck. I am looking forward to my next writing event. Whether I get to explore my feelings or write about a world long ago, the best part is being around people who share your passion, inspire you and listen without judgement to your words. Yes, I need more of this, so next time a writer’s event is suggested to me, I will be quicker to say yes and I know my soul will thank me for it.
Eden Mills Ontario - Wesley Church AD 1861 - 1921; United Church 1926 - 2014
The spirit of writing took hold at the young age of thirteen, while the creative artist and speaker in me truly started shining through in the last few years. My adventures have allowed me to reflect on what is truly important in my life and I want to show the world that it is possible to ‘Fly Be Free’.
For me writing is truly a private journey. It has taken me to beautiful places where my ideas are allowed to flow freely. I write and speak from the heart in order that I can connect with others in a more positive way.
I live with my husband in Melancthon, Ontario Canada, a place where inspiration runs wild and sunsets are a sight to behold.