Monday, November 2, 2009

WRITING SOMEONE ELSES STORY


Writing stories - simple enough huh? Well hang on a sec - this is not quite what you might be thinking. I have been pondering the many variables, possibilities, purposes and so forth of story writing. I am speaking of the chapters we write that end up being part of someone else's story! Everyone we know, or with whom we have a chance encounter - we are part of their story. In blog-land -we are part of each others story. I refer back to that Grey's Anatomy episode: There was an abused mother caught in the cycle of abuse - so much so that heR seven year old daughter took matters in to her own hands and shot her abusive father 17 times. One of the doctors spoke sternly to the mother, telling her that she had to "Change her daughter's story". That line penetrated me deeply. I realized how children look to the adults in their lives to "write their stories" until they are of age to write their own. Each of us is part of the story for any and all children in our lives. My step-son is coming for a week with our little grand-daughter for a week. My first selfish thought was, "oh no, what will I do with them for a whole week - Skipp works long hours and it will be me and them?????" I stayed in that selfish mind set for a quick minute - and I asked myself - "How do I want this chapter to read that I will be writing and will forever be a part of the story of her life?" I am collecting 'kid movies' from friends and we are going to plan a 'pre-Christmas' just for her so she can open gifts under our tree. I am planning fun kid meals and time for crafts - we are going to make our own play-dough!! I think you get my drift. What do the chapters or pages look like that were written by you and will be written by you for the children whose lives you have touched and will continue to touch or have yet to touch?
As adults we have choices, for the most part, of who we allow to be part of the 'writing of our story', friends, and life's partners. Sometimes, even when the chapters they add or edit are painful and disrespectful we allow them to continue writing. I have let many "hold the pen" long after they deserved the honor. Then there are those kind of forced upon us, teachers, clergy, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, some family members all holding a pen and writing like it is theirs to complete. Those are the "lessons" I imagine we learn that make us stronger. All part of "our story".
Sometimes we eliminate story writers. Divorce, ending a friendship, or sometimes we avoid someone so whomever cannot get their pen any where near our 'story' so to add a line or a chapter or more. And sometimes the 'end' is good as it makes room for a new beginning - some times the missing pages that person would have written are really best left unwritten.

I am very much invested in this "story writing" responsibility. I ask myself all the time, before I act, if I feel good about my signature being on the lines, pages and chapters of someone else's story. I realize the "Butterfly Effect" more intently that I ever have. That what happens to one of us directly happens to all of us indirectly and that I am 100% responsible for the effect I create in being privileged to have a page in someone else's story.


Sadly, there are those who intend a harmful effect - thank God I have no reference for such personal intent. And those people are the ones, once recognized, that are not allowed to have a pen anywhere near my story. Some slip through anyway - and it is another lesson learned.

So may I ask of you today that you think about all the people in your lives, especially children, for whom you hold a pen and are able to write lines, pages and chapters of their story. Your pen is very powerful. And to look at the people in your life that hold a pen and perhaps it is an honor they do not deserve. Take their pen away. :-) And the others, that deserve the pen, - hold on to them for dear life and encourage their next chapter. :-)


39 comments:

cinner said...

Hey Gail, glad you got it working, this was a great post today. So when I am out raking leaves today, I will be thinking of the people I have for all my chapters....If you want me to send you a rock I need your address. Send it to me by email....Good job, you know what I am talking about. yeah.

TheChicGeek said...

Oh, my, Gail....amazing post! You've shot straight to my heart today and moved me greatly. Our actions do become a part of the story of the people's lives we touch.
What a beautiful way to think about what we do...what will our legacy be, how will the ones we interact with remember us.
Your line, "And sometimes the 'end' is good as it makes room for a new beginning - some times the missing pages that person would have written are really best left unwritten." So true! Why do we so often let people stay when the pages they are writing are not good for us....That's a hard lesson for many to learn, just walk away, walk to a new and clean page...make your story one worth writing down.
Thank you for this today. You made a difference for me :)
Love and Hugs to You, Gail!
Have a Blessed Day!
xo
Kelly

Gail said...

H KELLY-

Oh I am so happy this post went to your heart. :-) have been swirling with this concept for a while and I finally could put it in to words. And it is SO simply true - we are all responsible for the parts we write of other peoples stories.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI CINNER -

Your leave raking will be filled wit many insights. :-) I will send youmy address.

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace.....

Bernie said...

We all have so many chapters in our own lives and the lives of others.....some are painful and some are so beautiful....we who touch one touch many....the ripple effect ....... I allow anyone the pen, their perception is their reality and one may not like it but it is part of life.....great post my friend, I will e-mail when I have an answer to your questions okay.......:-) hugs

Wanda said...

I relate to your post Gail...we all need to evaluate ourselves and think of how we can improve our penmanship when writing "stories", because sometimes there are no erasers and no time or chance to do the paper over.

Luv and Smiles,
Wanda

Gail said...

HI WANDA -

I love how you wrote that some times there are "No erasers" - wonderful insight and wisdom. Thank you Wanda

Love Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI BERNIE -
I love how you wrote "I will allow anyone the pen....." you are so gracious. :-) And yes, I look forward to your email.


Love to you my friend
Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Well Done! - most meaningful metaphor and if I may borrow your pen, I will offer words of praise, appreciation, gratitude, friendship and love, as life fulfilling chapters along with end notes of faith and peace.

In a new chapter of friendship,

Rose Marie

Gail said...

HI ROSE MARIE -

you can use my pen and the pen of everyone I love - and oh yes, a wonderful new friendship of love and passion and truth. You heighten every sense in me.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

CordieB. said...

Wow, Gail! What a powerful post this is. Yes, we allow others to write pages, sometimes chapters, in our lives, and others allow us to do so too. I only hope the pages I write for myself and others are filled with positive reflections. Although, in life, it doesn't always happen that way. But as the person holding the pen, I certainly can do my very best!

Again, super post! I was certainly stuck to this story!

Peace, Light and Love, C.

P.S. The time spent with you grandchild sounds like it will be one of those times in life that are never forgotten. Memorable stories you are writing! That's wonderful!

giggles said...

Yep...just finished a chapter in my story...will post about it ...well...not yet...but it's done....

Great post that spoke to my heart too!!

Teacher's Pet said...

Gail...I agree with cinner...This was a great blog today.
You are a good writer, Gail...easy to follow yet deep....a combination that is hard to come by...and you have it...a gift, my friend. You have the gift of the pen...
Love,
Jackie
P.S. I read Tamara's devotional blog today, and it mentioned, "What would you want someone to write on your tombstone?" I have been thinking of that this evening. What a deep question... Have I touched lives in a positive way?...or do I just 'think' I have... Something for me to ponder.
Love,
Jackie

Gail said...

@CORDIE-
Hi and thank you for your wise and kind words tome. I love that you 'get it' and know how we impact each other and truly care about that. And oh yes, when our lil granddaughter arrives we are going to create loving memories. :-)

@GIGGLES-

Oh I am SO excited to read your next chapter!!!!

@JACKIE-TEACHER"S PET

Hi and thank you. That was a lovely compliment you gave me about my writing style. I am quite honored you feel that way.
ANd I have thought a lot about what I would want written on my grave-stone and so far I have come up with -
"loving daughter-sister-wife-mother-friend- and advocate for those in need."


LOVE TO YOU ALL
Gail
peace.....

Eileen said...

My comment isn't here! I'm having such trouble lately with commenting, and my keyboard is acting up too.
Or maybe you didn't get to my comment yet, if it's here discard this one.

I can't remember everything I wrote (it was LONG), but I just have been thinking this way ever since I first heard you mention that about chapters in our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren (when I first started reading you), and it really puts things into perspective to view life like that. It's really been an inspiration!

I hope you enjoy your time with your family, it all sounds like such fun!
Lots of love to you, Eileen

Gail said...

HI EILEEEN-

It is frustratig when blogger acts up!!
ANd I know how very "in tune" you ar with the writing stories' idea/concept. I have applauded the chapters you are writing for yor grand children because I admire all that you do with and for them. It seems like only yesterday my daughter was living with us with her daughter and then my other daughter lived with us with her son. We wrote life-giving chapters - :-) as are you. Life-giving indeed.

Love to you
Gail
peace......

Utah Savage said...

Gail, what a beautiful piece of writing. I love this way of looking at our stories. This is a new idea to me and I'll take it to heart.

Gail said...

HI UTAH

I have so much respect for you so a compliment such as what you have written is so wonderful. "Thank you"

Love Gail
peace.....

Diana said...

You made me think of two things in particular when I read "Your Story" Gail. When you first spoke of your granddaughter I thought about when my granddaughter Sarah comes over. It seems that her favorite thing to do is talk. She talks and talks and talks! And I listen and ask her questions. She is happy with that. And reading "Junie B. Jones"

The second was of my own grandmother who was such a wonderful influence in my life. She wrote many pages in my story and I miss her terribly. And you know that most of what we did together was talk.

I think you you can add many beautiful pages to your granddaughters life story just by listening and letting her guide the pen.
Love Di

Gail said...

HI DIANA-

thank you for sharing warm memories of your "story" and for reminding me that in just the simple act of being 'present' and listening that warm memories are made. :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Wonderingsoul said...

Dear Gail,
Your post touched me so much. Like someone else said, it shot straight to my heart. I haven't read much lately because it's been a bit difficult but I'm glad that I stopped here tonight.
You have such a talent for writing Gail. What a beautiful way to get your point across.
I wanted to thank you for the times you use your pen in my life, the things you add to my chapters.
It's ironic that as you write this post, I have been wrestling with the idea of turning the comments option OFF on my blog, feeling as I do I am very frightened of others comments and yet, kindness feels so hard to receive.
I have also read te other comments here and hear Bernie saying that anyone can use the pen in her life... That is such a brave and amazing thing.
It's all given me something to thing about.
Thank you for writing this.
X

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

I love the way you put that, Gail: who is holding the pen? And what is my pen writing on someone else's pages?

Intent. Two years ago, a friend introduced me to the idea of intent. Intention, more than anything, matters because it's the energy that infuses a situation and affects its outcome. I've always held onto that.

Thank you for your always awesome words. You manage to put a creative spin on everything!

Gail said...

HI MEGAN-JOY GIRL-

I SO agree about intent - the energy of intention is very powerful. I am thrilled that you so enjoyed this post.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI WONDERINGSOUL

I am so glad you came by to visit and that this post touched you. I can't tell you what to do but I DO hope that you keep writing and that you allow comments. Most that I have seen on your blog are so kind and caring. It is your choice and I respect your decision.

Love to you
Gail'
peace.....

Mark said...

This is one my favorite "Gail" writings! Excellent writing, outstanding thoughts. I will forever remember that I am writing not only my story but also co-authoring the stories of others. Thank-you.

Gail said...

HI MARK-

"Thank you, thank you, thank you......"

Love Gail
peace....

Teresa said...

Hi Gail,
This was very inspiring, and yes, in many ways we are responsible for our own stories, and the people, places and things we allow to be a part of that.

Funny, I never thought of it that way, however, it is never really easy to discern how things will unfold, people can fool us, and surprise us, and hurt us, and disappoint us, but all we can really do is 'love one another'... and be real((((HUGS)))) T

Gail said...

HI Teresa

Oh yes, people come into our lives for so many reasons. And YES, to love one another always is the answer.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Gail, After your visit and comment on APOGEE Poet, I needed to reach out and invite you back to see my response to your comment. It was your turn to "take the pen" - a story retold... a spirit connection to another time in history...

Much mush love,
Rose Marie

Rachel C Miller said...

Your welcome Gail,
It is our similarities that bring us together and our differences that pull us a part.
I think we all experience the same situations at various times in our life. For me it was when I was fourteen, my best friend, who was like a sister. Make it short different schools was taking us in different directions. I took forever to get over the loss of her friendship.
We are here to learn crazy as it sounds common experiences have unique responses.
I read a book that you might fight interesting, it's called a Conversation with God, There are a few books in the series. What I got out of it good or bad the experience is a lesson and that they become little steps that reavel our growth along the journey.
I think that you care or that the situation bothered you a little reveals what a huge heart you have.
Be Well
Rachel

Gail said...

HI RACHEL-
So nice to see you here. :-) ANd thank you forsharing about your friend from when you were 14.
I have not read hte book you mentioned, I have certainly heard of it but have not read it yet. Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.
Love gail
peace......

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Another word I did not want you to miss...Gail, Well here we are in the same moment of time posting to one another in response. I was quite taken by your personal interpretation of both words and painting, reflecting not only our present time shared, but how closely your interpretation related to the Battle of Magenta as well. Sister Spirits in communication...

Gail said...

HI ROSE MARIE-

The connection I feel to you is so powerful - your creative expressions reflect my truths intimately - it is freeing beyond my wildest imagination.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Comrade Kevin said...

I think cannibalism lives in all who write fiction, since every character I have ever written is some facet of someone I have known in my life. Certain details may be embellished here and there, the names are certainly changed, and I might have rearranged the order to best suit my own ends, but it's all someone else's story. I just happen to be writing it.

Gail said...

Hi Kevin-

thank you so much for your shared experience of this posts theme. And in writing I do believe that every character about whom we write is a part of us, the writer.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Oh, my, Gail! I read this piece the day it was posted and wrote a comment—but I must have somehow messed up the sending. I'm really sorry. No wonder you wondered where I'd been!

What you say here is so very true. In a way, it simply comes down to "think before you act or speak."That's exactly what you did re. the step-son's visit with the granddaughter. By changing your attitude, you changed (or will change) everyone's story.

I will disagree with one point… that "children look to the adults in their lives to 'write their stories' until they are of age to write their own." You will always be the adult to your child, regardless of age. If you have a good track record in helping, advising, being a standard to them as a child, teenager, and young adult—they'll expect the same wisdom from you when they themselves mature and in getting older become wiser. There's a good reason why elders have long been venerated within so many cultures.

Some would-be story writers are forced upon us via various situations. But while they may try, only you can decide what you include and use in your story. Your life is a living testimony to that—you have not allowed certain things to be your story, but only to be the backdrop and scenery and potholes along the way.

Stories have plots. But they also have themes. Many of your personal hardships were simply elements of the plot. Your victory, and strength, your attitude of "keeping on keeping on" and being the person and woman, the child, mother, lover and human that you are, is your theme and story.

The real message here is that we write our stories—moreover, we can help others and influence them in their writing of their stories. You understand and are trying your best to practice this in your own life. That's all any of us can manage.

Again, I'm sorry I messed up the original comment somehow. Didn't mean to…

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh my, your amazing comment was well worth the wait. Your understanding and wisdom is so wonderful. I think we are saying the same thing in regards to our children - the differentiation I was making is when children ONLY have the adults in their lives to write their stories, which begins the moment they are born until they start to "choose" on their own.

And yes, as parents we are always part of our children's stories.

And I like your words about "theme" - yes, we all have our own theme - :-)

And your compliments about me make me blush - I am honred you feel such good things for and about me. I am humbled my friend, humbled indeed.

Love to you always
Gail
peace.....

Teacher's Pet said...

Late Saturday night
Gail...I've been away for a while...but am home now...and wanted to come to your blog and thank you for your faithful visits to mine. You are sooo sweet to do that...and to comment. It takes time to do both. If you don't have time to comment, I am still honored that you visit me. I send you many smiles and much love,
Jackie

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

And yet another page in "Writing Someone Elses Story." Colors that paint spirit's call have been so beautifully captured and expressed in your response. Your generous spirit bears deep appreciation. Again, a note awaits.