Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Scariest Place - The Safest Place

I took a one month break from blogging in December, hoping that when I returned I might have something worthwhile to say.  My daughter teaches writing at the college freshman level.  Recently she wrote about a device called a "writing prompt."  I had heard of this tool previously, but much like an unused whisk in my kitchen drawer, I have rarely if ever actually used one.

The fact is I generally don't need anything to prompt me to write.  I have been writing since I was a girl, occasionally for minor publication, but generally just because it is what I do.  I write.

I write when I am glad, sad, mad, or just too full of myself to hold it all in.  I tell stories which are mostly family anecdotes or vignettes from my corporate days.  I try to write it like it is and not as I would wish it to be.  However, sometimes I embellish and sometimes my prose is a sparse as as the hair on the head of a ninety year-old.

There is something, however, that I have not yet written - my story.  As a publisher once said to me, "Marsha, everyone has a story.  But not every one's story should be told."  He went on to tell me that he thought my story was worth telling.  I am still not convinced.  But the thought is there, niggling away in the back of my mind.

I am not thinking of an autobiographical chronology, because who really cares whether I was born in Illinois or Indiana?  I am thinking more along the lines of sharing my journey.

For many years I kept a framed picture on my office wall of a trail through a forest with a caption that read, "Success is a journey not a destination."  It is a common theme for office walls, perhaps; but even if trite, I suspect it is also true.

I allow for the possibility that life is not about a destination either, or at least not one in this world; but perhaps it is more about the journey; it's quality, character, colors and connections.

Last night I watched the annual Kennedy Center Honors for the performing arts.  One of those being honored said something that made me catch my breath.  I grabbed a pen a wrote it down.

The scariest place to be is really the safest place - and that is to let people in, to let them know what life has done to us.  ~ Barbara Cook, singer and 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree.

I am not sure that I can do that or that I should do that.  But I am thinking about it.

Until next time, wishing you and your family a Happy New Year !  ...Marsha

Question:  Have you ever written or told "your story" and if so, did it turn out as you expected it would?  Was it worth the effort you made to be known to others?


  1. I haven't really told my story so much as I tell other's stories. It would be a much different challenge to write my own. I hope you do write yours~

  2. Your daughter obviously got her talent from writing from you as I love visiting your blog to see what you are saying on any given day....

    As for writing your "story", you have to decide if you want to put the time and effort into that but for one I sure would love to read it. Please let us know what you decide.....

    I also watched the Kennedy Center Honorees and found each one to be so inspiring....I remember this comment you mentioned about Barbara Cook but I didn't think much about actually writing my story.....maybe I will ponder this as well.....

  3. First, I'm really glad to see you back, and Happy New Year!
    Second, I saw the Kennedy Performing Arts program too, and really enjoyed it all.
    Third, and most important, yes, I have shared my story, and yes, it is worth the sharing, and so is yours and each one of ours, for this reason... our journey is also our testimony, and the sharing speaks to God's faithfulness in carrying us through all of it. Whatever God has lead us through also touches the heart of someone else who may be in the middle of a similar story.

    Final thought... sharing our own story also encourages our own faith as we see that He was there the whole way, saw us through, and we are still standing. :)

  4. So I hope 'Three's Company' because I too watched the Kennedy Center Honors and was deeply moved by the depth of talent and artistry. How brave the artists are to put themselves 'out' there for all the world to judge. I also feel life is a journey and once we decide to quit traveling in whatever means of transportation we choose, we might as well pull the trap door shut and turn the lock. With all the world has to offer and the different ways we can explore from reading to internet to actual get your fanny in the buggy and go why would we want to quit?
    Oh and I'd love to hear your would be another journey after all!

    Hugs and Happy 2012~

  5. A very interesting post, Marsha. I enjoy writing but I wouldn't call myself a writer. I have started writing my story but I am up to the scary part and so have come to a block. What I have done so far is on my blog's side bar. My story starts from when we migrated to Australia. It does then follow in chronological order, which I guess is boring but I'm not clever enough to do it any other way. Anyway, I would love to read your story.

  6. Welcome back, Marsha. I have thought of you so many times during December and prayed for your family. I have thought about writing "my story" for my family to have, but have yet to do it...I'd love to hear your story and hope you decide to move forward with this idea.

  7. Hey Marsha good to see you back. Hope you have had a lovely Christmas and New Year.
    I think it would be quite therapeutic to write about your life. I would love to write but find it difficult sometimes to put what I feel into words.
    I think you should give it shot ;)

  8. Happy New Year Marsha!

    I tell slices of my story---but I don't (yet) have the courage to put it all together. Maybe someday.

    I'd love to read your story in whatever form you chose to tell it.

  9. To All the Above:
    How encouraging you all are. And what fun it is for me to read your blogs as well. I am giving this "telling my story" business careful thought.

    I think Sonja hit a key point when she said, it does indeed share our faith and attest to the fact tht, because of God's faithfulness we are still standing.

    Happy New Year to each of you - Marsha

  10. Hi Marsha Happy New Year and thank you for your kind words. As you know my book Layers of the Heart is non-fiction and I use the heart as a metaphor for the different emotions we go through on our Journey from the Trusting heart to the purposeful heart and everything in between. It is only thirteenLayers but I also didn't want a biography so I told one story for each Layer so people who read it can interchange their journey for mine. It has been quite humbling, encouraging and rewarding.I think you should do it if that small voice inside is keeping after you, I believe there is a reason. hugs love and prayers Patricia

  11. Hi Marsha. This is my first trip to your blog and I am delighted to connect with a fellow writer(although mine is much neglected these days). Thanks for stopping by my blog. By the way, I don't have an extravagant purse either but the name came from an extravagant gift given to someone. Maybe I will post about it again.
    There are all kinds of ways to write your story. That just popped into my head :)

  12. Tell all? No. Tell some? Yes.
    I love the way you turn a phrase and you have made me thoughtful in the time I have been following you. It would be wonderful if you wrote a book about your journey. I would buy it and gift friends with copies. Just consider writing like Gypsy Rose Lee performed and keep the fan.

  13. I love how you write down quotes when you hear them like that. I do too!

    I look forward to reading your story. I've shared some of mine in bits and pieces. Some of it is good and other parts I'd rather not remember. But I know that when I share from my heart people seem to respond. It's how you handle the life challenges along the way that truly make a life story interesting.

    I think people can be encouraged when they learn that life hasn't always been easy. We become more human.

    I'm eager to read yours.

    Blessings and love,