Photo credit: Sam Burriss
I called one of my clients who I hadn’t heard from in a long time. We had left it that she was working on something and would send it when it was ready. Many weeks have flown by. No new chapter. It’s been too long, so I called to check on her. The truth is, I missed her. But more than missing our uproarious and engaging sessions, I could sense that she has stopped writing. This concerns me because I know that what she’s writing about really matters. She’s writing about enlightenment; truths and realities that you don’t usually hear from an older white woman born and raised in North Carolina. My client left behind all that she knew in search of all that she needed to know. She laid herself bare, hoping to be filled with something deeper and more profound than she’d ever felt. It was to be found in India.
Now it all sounds a little “new agey” and “crazy,” but don’t be deterred by unfamiliar terms and ideas. What matters is who she has grown to be as a writer and as a human. On her journey, she unearthed the crippling nature of emotional baggage. She now knows the dysfunction of a culture built on greed and aggression. She also exudes the inherent treasure of peace.
My timing could not have been more perfect when I called her, unexpectedly. Even the enlightened one had been shaken. As we talked, she confessed, she has stopped writing. She said she’s in too much “pain.” Pain. Once she named it, it resonated with me. I feel it, too. Months and weeks of listening to the Bad News can cause pain and fear. It turned her back to who she used to be. She had taken on negativity; railing about how “insignificant” her writing is and how “it won’t go anywhere.” She even said the worst thing imaginable: she is “too old.” She said, “I’ve been silenced.”
As, she continued to share came the tears. Her pain was a guttural cry, the sound of one soul begging for salvation for all. I needed to remind her who she is and how the world so needs her voice, her wisdom and the enlightened words that spill from her pen like flowers in bloom.
I listened to her beautiful pain. I felt connected to her in a whole new way. Our work together was one thing, but the trust and sharing was a transcendent moment. We couldn’t be more different. Born in different eras, skins and regions but we share the same sorrow about our world. Clearly, being enlightened has given her new eyes. The blinders of race, class and social status are no longer hers. She not only sees what I see, but she really feels it. Like I do.
The happy ending is that my client texted me later that day to say she couldn’t talk… because she’s writing, in an effort to save us from ourselves. She’s back.
11 days to go….Wishing us enlightenment in the deep days ahead.