This road has a mind of its own.
That may not have been clear to me in the beginning, when I thought it was my idea, my project, my monologue that I was going to write, and my decisions that would shape any outcomes.
Hilarious old hindsight, eh?
When I sent out my letter asking for sinner-sponsors, I said my intention was to write a monologue for performance. I even knew the actress who was going to play it – my friend and fellow walker, Louise. Perfect for it, she would be.
Writing a monologue, however, proved another thing.
I struggled to find ways, struggled to compress the story, struggled to feel truthful, or that I was honouring the story. I was met with NO at every turn!
Then one day I began to write prose, and about twelve months later that prose found a publisher. A book allowed me to tell all the stories I wanted to tell, to be as scrupulous about the journeys of others as I could possibly be – and to confess to my own journey, which was never my intention, dreading the “I” voice, as I did.
Publication, and the ensuing road-trip into the blogosphere, the twittoverse and the land of Facebook, as well as the adventure of talking the book at events and on radio and festivals with people I admire and respect…well, that has yielded fruits I’d never dreamed. Pains too. Anxieties and ego-dents. Minor abrasions, only! Mostly, a rucksack full of joys.
Now, here is the latest irony.
I find myself sitting at the desk, penning a monologue for performance to be given by me, the person who swore she would never act on stage again, at the Fairfax Theatre! I began writing a week ago and finished it – more or less! – yesterday. And incredibly, amazingly, it has not been torture. There is a monologue!
Putting aside the horrors of trying to learn and rehearse it in the next eleven days (AAAGGGHH!), the thing that remains a marvel is that it was possible to write it at all, after those attempts when I first came home from the camino.
But I woke this morning with a strong sense of why I’ve been able to do it.
Now that the book is out, I am free to make choices about what parts of the story seem theatrical or dramatic, because the whole story, the entirety of the journey, is in the world. I have honoured the road as fully as I was able, and now I can be selective, just as I was with the Poetica programme.
So the thing I couldn’t do, I am doing. Incredible.
But on the road’s timetable, not mine.
I can’t yet bring myself to think about performing it, but I’m hoping that somehow the road will bring me home to a place where I can manage that too, just for one evening.
I’m reminded of a poem, given to me by Louise. It is by Alice Walker.
When We Let Spirit Lead Us.
When we let Spirit
It is Impossible
We are being led
All we know
All we can believe
All we can hope
We are going
I live and work here, looking out this window and dreaming of things that might be, then being astonished to find that other dreams, bigger dreams, are dreaming me.
Sometimes, the sky confirms that.
If you want to see one of the great miracles of the digiverse, click on this link and then scroll down to the post by Johnnie Walker. This is what I mean by connection!
I have been moved and grateful for all the comments there, but that one fair took my breath away. The world is endlessly wondrous.
Please feel free to download the programme and have a listen. It’s another aspect, another unpicking, expanding, re-examining of the story…