Like Forrest Gump who got it in his head one day to run . . . and run, I started to write . . . and write. At first I assembled my life stories as if they were candy beads on an elastic cord—the sweet interlaced with the sour. I wore the necklace, dissatisfied that the beads weren’t jewels.
I stumbled upon an editor, teacher, and friend—three magicians rolled into one. I aligned with other kindred souls, and we exchanged insightful critiques. My story changed shape. What I first perceived as bland now had spice—though it still lacked complexity. My search continued for the unknown or forgotten ingredient.
As words spilled onto pages and coalesced into chapters, I began to see the patterns of my life. Flashback scenes, brought the past to the present. Next, I saw how I tried to heal my past with my present. I watched as I repeated ingrained responses to friends, lovers, husbands, and co-workers.
One day, totally unexpected, a familiar trauma struck—I reacted as expected. Something pre-programmed in my brain—in my body—pure panic. Stop . . . Think . . . Examine. There is a way to end this—there is a cure.
I returned to the early chapters. I examined my behavioral patterns, obsessions, addictions, and anxieties. I covered one wall of my office with sheets of blank paper. I drew a pentagram—a five pointed star. I marked each transitional point with a directional change in my story. I stood at room center and star-gazed.
I started at the lowest point—a frightened teenager and a flight from terror. A stroke of the pen brought me to the right top apex—pure chaos. Then a sudden drop of the roller coaster almost destroyed me. I evened out on the left—somewhat skewed, but alive. A shift to the right—I leveled out. The final drop; a rest stop. At star center—my childhood.
Clarity hit. Look at what I’ve done. Look at what I’m doing. I drew star clusters, galaxies, constellations and celestial signs—all part of my universe—spinning. Slow it down. I told myself. Take it in increments—choose order over chaos. Look to your higher power; the answer is there.
I examined the work; there’s more than my story here. I pulled the old recipes from their file box. I’ll devise a plan. Find a helpmate—maybe a food critic. There’s a woman. I find soups and stews, cookies and cakes, sauces and drinks on my Facebook wall each morning. Her words resemble my candy beads—she’s of like mind—she’ll understand.
Today, I see the pieces. I line a second wall with paper. Instead of spinning stars, I draw vivid boxes filled with thoughts, arranged in patterns; ready to move under my direction. I know how to change. All because I put pencil to paper, finger to keyboard and colored my star.