“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.” ~ Walt Whitman
Our About the Authors series continues with Flo Shore.
I had been a solitary child in many ways. The little girl I once was lived in a world of pensive thought and literary exploration. I had a very rich inner life.
I devoured fairy tales from all cultures, ancient mythology and at the library always asked for books where animals spoke like humans. I read poetry, haiku and began writing verse in elementary school.
As I matured, I came to realize how few places there were for aesthetically minded dreamers like me. Over time I managed to transform myself into a rational and logical thinker. I was determined to learn how to fit the societal norms of the day and take my place to be valued by the dominant culture. In doing so, I lost something. I lost touch with the place of innocence. For years I looked to find my way back to that special place of childhood innocence and wonder.
This gnawing and, at times, excruciating desire to return to “that place” of innocence took me on a long and circuitous journey. It’s been much like the quest to connect with the elusive butterfly in my story "Blessed By a Butterfly" in our anthology Slants of Light. Maybe if I stand still long enough she’ll return, I thought.
It seems we are each and every one of us a "thought leader" in the subject we know most about; ourselves! So I have returned to creative writing after many decades away. My involvement in the Women’s Writing Circle over the last two years has been instrumental in helping me connect with my creative juices after a very long hiatus.
I came to learn through writing, groups, workshops and mentors that the creative spark had never really gone out. It was simply usurped by the business of living, by layer upon layer of worldly wear and toil.
After several careers which I refer to as my “incarnations,” I’ve spent the last 19 years in industrial sales. Somehow, I managed to find ways to bring my creative bent along for the ride. It’s served me well but left me hungry for more. Having at last found a place to work and learn in the company of other writers I finally feel sated. I have been writing poetry since childhood and am relatively new to prose. My introduction to memoir through the Women’s Writing Circle has proved invaluable.
So, what about “us” - a community of writers, historians, poets and memoirists? Can we dip into that creative pool whenever we want, splash our faces and refresh ourselves with all that is truly ours? Perhaps we can wash away the angst and grime that some of us wear like an ill-fitting garment and gain access to the creative portal.
I believe we can! We already sit in the place of innocence. We just need to let the phrases, the kernels of ideas that appear as whispers all around us come to life on paper. We can grab them and share them in our own voice. After all, our thoughts are worth something and could surely change lives.