"I say to you He is here. He is kissing me right now."
Ha! That's a great ending to my story. It was hard to come back after that. But after the e-mail, worried phone calls, begging and threats, I have returned. I wonder now what took me so long.
Most of the time telling my story is easy. I tend to talk to much, and not listen enough. Like Bono, I like the sound of my own voice, or rather, of my own story. I've told it to virtual strangers. I've told it to friends. I told it to a group of women at Dr. Gail Hayes's first annual Bonefire Conference--with fear and trembling, and Marilynn--one of my dearest friends--sitting right behind me. She cried at all the right places, and held me up in the Spirit as I wavered. I will always be indebted to her for that. My sister Carlean was there, too--a powerful writer in her own right. She too, with Spirit arms, lifted me.
I've been trying to sell the ragamuffin diva book for several months. I've even got three very interested publishers, but when it's time to revise the proposal, I just don't do it. See, there's this thing about telling stories, especially personal ones. Sometimes you lose your stories. You drop them in dark corners you almost never go in. You leave them in the refrigerator--and didn't even know you'd put them there. They fall in the grass in the front yard, and you can't find the glint of them shining with the sun's reflection, even with your glasses on. You hide the darker stories on purpose. You don't wish to think about them. Ever again.
The ragamuffin diva stories are dark stories. I've lived through them, but they've me cost a lot. I don't like to revisit them. They are like blocks of coal. Sometimes I throw them and hope they never boomerang back to me. Sometimes I gather them in my arms--soot colored stories that leave their blackened dust all over my clothes and darken my hands. No, I don't like those stories. When I can hardly stand them, I scatter them. Hide them until the time comes that I can bear them. In those times, they become the charcoal that I place my prayers, like incense, on. I set the flame to them, and they go to God. He likes my stories. They are safe with Him.
But, I still can't write that proposal.
Maybe, I should set the flame to all those coals. Light a fire. Make them useful. I don't know. I only know that sometimes I can come here and write again, and again. Other times, I can't come to write at all. If you don't see me, pray for me, and know that I'll never go away for too long.
Looking like Cinderella, in the cinders, not at the ball,