This morning I read a passage on Facebook from one of my favorite spiritual guides, Bishop Steven Charleston. He says in part, “On some journeys in life it is necessary to leave the luggage of our past behind. We cannot run to catch the train leaving the station if we are loaded down with old memories and heavy hearts.”
While I agree with him in part, I also understand that one cannot leave that past behind until one examines it to understand what it has to teach us.
My, you say, you have suddenly turned from a writer into a preacher.
Um, we all, whether we acknowledge it or not, are the sum of our parts.
Some of my readers may know that I have other lives as my bio mentions. I make no excuses for them. Recently I took a course on spiritual journaling. It made me think about the convergence of novel writing with the path of the writer’s life. A writer cannot write in a vacuum. Their writing is the sum of their past experiences. Rather than leaving their past behind I think we must integrate it into a place within ourselves that, while not weighing us down, it helps to inform our understanding of our actions in the future.
That is why I have taken the diversion down Matilda’s path. While it is giving me the experience of looking at life through an emigrant’s eyes, it has also begun to teach me why I write about the things that are at the heart of my writing, strong women and their drive to become what they were meant to be and to discover and make peace with the things that have guided them in their lives.
Bear with me on Matilda’s journey. It may lead to more novels.