This blog is my first plunge into social media. It’s like trying to summon enough courage to dip my toe into a river with crocodiles just below the surface. I’ve been writing a memoir, Whole of Life, about getting older (oldish?) in a culture where women my age are invisible, unless you’re Elisabeth Warren giving the old men running for president serious competition. I also discovered a chip on my shoulder when I turned sixty-five (I’m now seventy-five), and made a vow to myself not to miss this stage of life. All of it. You have to be tough to just say no to facelifts, tummy tucks, or dyeing your gray hair without envying the attention women get who have not taken that vow.
I just finished the first draft. I’m ready to read the manuscript through to see the true arc of the story, what’s underneath the story I thought I was writing, what needs to be told that I missed, and what I didn’t have the courage to write. This is terrifying. There are times when I want to stop the whole damn thing and go back to my regular life, but I can’t. The story now has a life of its own, and it’s on my path.
I’ve claimed two months out of my regular life to go to the South of France with my husband and documentary filmmaker, Tom Weidlinger, to work on a second draft. Tom will be editing his film, The Restless Hungarian. On December first, we will journey to the medieval village of Le Broc, and stay in an apartment in a medieval castle. Because I am a visual artist, a writer, and a psychologist, just knowing this has sparked every neuron in my right brain. Images of Hieronymus Bosch’s creatures and Bruegel’s peasant villages swim in my mind, accompanied by the music of the psaltery, dulcimer and lute.
Because I have learned that every significant venture out into the world is also an inward passage, I am enormously curious about what writing, drawing and painting this experience will inspire. It has already inspired me to write this blog, and I would like to share it with you. I don’t know what will emerge, but I promise every two weeks or so you will receive musings, insights, inspirations, and images that I hope will also spark your creative neurons.