After last week’s session in which we looked at all the ways we might be avoiding telling our stories, our homework was to arrive at tonight’s zoom class with a large piece of paper.
And after a discussion about the scary state of the world and how difficult it is to feel like this process is even relevant while there are immense global issues touching everyone’s lives right now, Cara suggested that a time of turmoil is one in which a lot of ugliness is surfacing, but on the other side is a possible awakening, an awareness, and a striving for the beauty, truth and connection that is the opposite of the division and fear bubbling over in some places.
It was helpful for me to consider that I may have something positive to contribute in amongst all the sadness, and if telling my story can add some love, understanding and connection, then let that be what I can focus on.
Having re-established our motivation to do this work, we jumped straight in and spent a good part of the zoom session scribbling drawings on our huge bits of paper that formed the start of an illustrated life timeline. Enclosed neatly in little circles of sketch, I discovered my whole life could be very succinctly scribbled out in 20 minutes. I found there were certain moments that required a lot of angry scrawling, and others where my pen was light and gentle. Being so familiar with spending a few thousand words on a single experience, it was amazing to see that I could capture the sadness, fear, loss or love in a single little drawing.
Afterwards, looking at my 25 little circles, full of siblings, men, teachers and leaders, I realised not one of the drawings included my parents. I thought I should crowbar them in somewhere but I realised that each of my turning points, at each stage of my life, they were elsewhere. I’m not sad or angry about this, I just found it interesting that not one of my scribbles included them.
I’m not ready to share the full page, but here are a couple of snippets that I liked. And we’ll see where next week’s class takes us.