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Accessing my wisdom November 25, 2008

Posted by frostwolftfirerose in Personal Journey.
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As a fellow who works a 12 step recovery program, I find that immersing myself in the steps helps me immensely.  These 12 keys on the scale each has its own resonance.  So right now I’m following what a lot of people joking refer to as “A Brutal Path through the Twelve Steps” (substitute “gentle” for “brutal” and you get the real title of P. Carnes’ book), and I’m in the midst of Steps 2 & 3.  He combines the two into one chapter, which is … different.

Anyway, there’s a segment entitled “Paths to Spirituality” and it asks various questions about the various ways one can do this and what can the participant do or where has the participant erred.  One of the questions it asks is about times when I have heard my inner voice say something and I ignored it.

One of the promptings that came to me is that I turned my face away from poetry and prose writing in favor of playwriting.  Every once in awhile this issue crops up, and I’m only mildly surprised it did today.  Other notions that came to me were actions taken in my adolescent days.  At least thus far.  When this path felt foreclosed (I started typing “foeclosed”–interesting slip there!) I believed but didn’t believe what this Creative Writing professor said to me, or truthfully now what I heard her saying which was that I was a bad writer.

In retrospect, what I now see is that I behaved rather precipitously in many respects.  First, I had an expectation that was soundly slapped down, that I would be able to get into the next one, that she would offer an apology beyond the one she had already given me about the fact that she had completely overlooked my application.   It was sticking out of a mound of papers approximately two-and-a-half feet tall on her desk.  And while she told me she would not be able to place me in the class as it was closed, she said she would read my sample.  And I fully expected to be brought into the class the next term, which she pretty much shot down.

Today, as I sit here contemplating how that awful moment felt, how embarassed I felt at the whole episode, I honestly can’t remember what she said other than a couple of bits and pieces.  A couple of her comments were about things I experimented with but didn’t work.  A couple of things she said were about things that felt derivative.  Pretty much, after “I wouldn’t have let you into my class,” I was not able to hear anything else.

I have felt a number of moments like this in my life, where something in me shattered.  And I felt that again recently with the most likely Diebolded election passing the Latter Day pSychopaths-sponsored H8 Prop in Califuckedup.  And the healing of this takes a process.

I can write about the creative writing event a little more objectively today because it happened 25 years ago now.  And I am sick of carrying this event like Jacob Marley, and it’s time to make kala on it and let it go.  And to own my part in the situation.

For the event itself is really nothing.  Some events loom so much larger because of the expectations and some of the vulnerabilities that I have had.  And perhaps others saw these things in me, but because of their own problems and limitations were not able to help me see through the pain I did truly feel.  I took it as more than a slight–much, much more.  I took it as a criminal sentence, and I’ve nursed a grudge for the longest time.

But it’s really not Ms. Mathis’s fault.  She has every right to say “You, come here, you stay away.”  The problem at Dartmouth was also structural in that there was only one C.W. prof per term, and  while there were others there who taught the class, I always seemed to be there when she was on hand.

And it seemed to me that going the playwriting route–well at least it felt like I was wanted there.  Though I’m not sure about that in retrospect either.  There was a lot of pain around me that I didn’t realize how much I wore it for all to see.  I’m sure I tested a lot of people’s patience back then.

In allowing this stuff to be brought up, I feel there’s a huge mountain of interconnected material there to work through, notion by notion, that like those papers on Cleo’s desk piled up over time and I get to sift through it all.  Ah, yes.  That’s what the 4th step is about!  Which reminds me of a meditation I underwent around the Sex Point where the white wand appeared in my hand.  This is something to cleanse so that I may be kala myself.

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