We are all repositories for experience. Nothing that happens in our lives ever goes away. While we may repress memories that could be too painful to recall, they remain in our cells. What if, instead, we decided to live our stories in healthy, productive and celebratory ways?
Leaving New Orleans tonight after a few days here with friends. I had been excitedly planning this trip for more than a month, but really, for years, since I had decided that I wanted to go to Jazz Fest. Circumstances had stood in the way before, but more recently, the stars aligned to make it possible and I’m so glad it did. As I have long believed, the trip began the moment I committed to going; not when I packed, got in my car, drove to the airport, hopped on two different planes or even arrived here. Those were just the paragraphs in the chapters that I co-wrote with the characters I encountered. Along the way, I met friendly people- from the folks in TSA who checked me through, to the people at the ticket counter, to the flight attendants and pilots, to the woman who was traveling with her therapy cat, to the retired mother and her adult son with whom I had a lengthy conversation about family, health and spirituality, to my friends Jewelee and Scott who greeted me when I arrived. Scott was actually on my flight, but I didn’t know it. Celebrating life these past few days with Loreen, Ron, Virginia, Chris, Karen, Vanessa and Sophia have enriched my time immeasurably. Dancing, singing, walking, eating, laughing, hugging, absorbing all of the juicy energy in this vibrant city are life changing experiences.
Danced my tush off yesterday at Jazz Fest, as I basked in the sun; despite wearing sunscreen, got a little cooked around the edges, enjoyed vegetarian red beans and rice, and yes, indulged in a beignet. It reminded me of a puffed up version of a Pennsylvania decadent treat called Funnel Cake which is essentially fried dough doused with powdered sugar.
Second day of noticing sky writing as I gazed up into the vast blue expanse. It acted as a seal to my experience.
Loreen showed me a card she had gotten that had a photo with the words ‘Live A Great Story’ painted on it. What choice do we have but to do that? We express it in all we do. The flow of emotion, whether joy or sorrow, resentment or forgiveness, petty pouting, I’m not gettin’ my way frustration, love and acceptance, compassion and understanding, anger and aggression, or even passive aggression since we think we don’t know how to get our needs met any other way, are all part of this being human. It is when we consciously choose how our story gets played out, that we thrive. When we believe we are victims of someone else’s design, then we suffer. When we take pen in hand and write the poetry and prose from each sun-up to sun down, we have a story worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.