Persona, Compassion and Bravado…
I recently read an article on writing that suggested writers ask ourselves, “Why have I chosen to write this novel at this time in my life?”
This novel at this time.
An interesting question.
As psychotherapists we continually ponder why a client chooses to discuss certain matters during particular sessions.
While life of each client holds a myth or narrative unique to them and around which all activities swirl to incorporate meaning, the question, “Why this and now,” holds power.
The answer usually lies within the framework of a recent incident that has taken place.
In becoming a microcosm of the macrocosm of the large narrative of the client’s life touches upon an aspect of the large narrative.
It reminds the client of something they have yet to resolve, or yearn to achieve.
“Why this, and now?” becomes, “And now I desire this.”
My recent novel, The House, due for publication in 2010 probes the question, “What would you do if you learned the person you are divorcing is also dying?”
That I love my husband and we are happily married, and that this is my first and only marriage makes for an interesting answer to the question, “Why did I write “The House“, and now?
The answer, “I desired the ability to hold more compassion, particularly for those who have wronged me,” immediately as i pondered.
Prior to writing The House I had done a year or more of spiritual direction.
Many of my discussions, in fact the bedrock of my discussions centered on the relationship with my mother, unfinished business that was never resolved before she died.
While I have always felt there was much more I could have done, the priest pointed out that perhaps my mother had wanted forgiveness from me for various things she had done.
Forgiving my mother, that she would feel badly for anything that she had done, had never crossed my mind. I was too focused on the things I had performed poorly, my failures as a daughter. The question left me stumped.
In pondering it more I realized that I had not seen my mother as a person.
She had been an icon, The Mother, never to be challenged, never to be corrected, never to be seen as an equal, nor a friend.
How sad and how lonely.
Granted my mother had played her role in creating this bravado, and had lived out this persona.
But I, in my ignorance and fear, had never sought to pierce it in a loving and compassionate way.
If the adage, “Once and adult, twice a child,” is true, then the relationship between me and my mother never reached a point where I was able to give to her as she gave to me when I was a child.
Hence I wrote, The House, the theme of which is:
“…All hold regret and are seeking forgiveness. Our salvation rests in the hands of others…” my way of saying,”I’m sorry.”
Why have you written your novel or story?
To what personal desire does it point?