When I write, I have trouble staying on the surface of things. My words quickly magnify my insecurities and I am, no pun intended, an open book. For me, writing is about truth. I delve deep so that both the reader and I find the valuable morsel. I seek the lesson in the mundane. I crave uncovering the epiphany that emerges from fear and challenge. Even joy can be a seed for growth. I am a detective, constantly searching for clues to strengthen the soul. In short, I want to live a life of awareness, immersed in each moment and its possibilities.
So, the new book, Wide Awake Every Week was the perfect framework for the words I love to write. It was an honor to be invited by Starla J. King to contribute seven short essays, one for each day of the week. Each essay, based on various personal life events, allowed me to peel back the layers and expose the belly of an insight. There are fifty-one other writers who have done the same. They are diverse, magnificent and bring their own flavor to what it means to be awake in today’s world.
Below is one of my seven essays, a teaser to the rest of the book:
“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
There is a photograph I took with my phone almost three years ago. It was the night we left my son, Marc, in New York to begin his freshman year at NYU. I remember standing on the sidewalk watching him walk away and feeling my heart struggle to stay in my chest. I called after him, reaching for my phone in a panic that the moment would pass and he would be gone forever into that black night dotted with the neon letters and round lights of 7th Avenue. In the photograph, the stretch of pavement between us is long and bare. Marc, in his blue button-down shirt and khakis, is the center but he is far away, small and uneven. I can’t see the details of his face. In the right foreground is a carousel of postcards that stands guard at a well-lit souvenir shop. Life seems to exist everywhere except in the space that separates us. I know he was teary-eyed too. I had felt it when our hug was complete. Finally, he heard me calling and turned, but kept his back foot touching the ground. It made an awkward twist at his ankle just as his foot had been at birth. When he was born I had thought it was a malformation, but within days it became a normal healthy foot. It had been forced to bend inside me. It needed space just like I knew this moment was the gift of space Marc needed. Here he was being released from me again. I am so grateful for this photograph and its ability to take me back to that night: an absolute intersection of ending and beginning.
To learn more or to order your own copy of ‘Wide Awake Every Week’ click on the image below:
Thank you for allowing me to speak my truth. Feel free to comment below.
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