I’m always fascinated to learn more about the lives and writings of women in our Facebook community. Barbara Snow is a prolific author of supernatural mystery, who immigrated to Cuenca, Ecuador four years ago. She was telling me of the vibrant, international artist’s community there, which made me daydream about more writing retreats all over the continent.
However, Barbara’s first books weren’t in the genre at which she now excels. In the 1990s she used poetry and memoir to bring herself through a period of deep healing. In this blog she reflects on how poetry and memoir accompanied her on this journey toward a new life and livelihood:
A Story Teller in Apache tradition is someone who listens carefully to the details of an experience, then takes those same elements and reframes the experience from a cosmic perspective. Maybe the Point of View shifts. Maybe the Story Teller sees things the person missed. The Story Teller’s job is to make you the heroine in a way that heals and empowers you. That is the power of story.
I worked with an Apache Story Teller to understand my experience on a 3-day Quest on Mount Diablo in California. My invalid bridegroom had died and I wanted to make sense of the darkest night of my soul. The Quest was cold and challenging, and a mischievous raccoon played an important part.
After I poured out my tale of grief and challenge, Woody Baily, the Story Teller, launched into a dramatic rendering of my Quest experience. One sentence pierced my heart. In the voice of a Shakespearean Oracle, Woody announced to the multiverse, “But she wasn’t done suffering!” Though he continued with the story, my attention was riveted on what he had just said and the implications for my future.
What? Wait just a bloomin’ minute! The hell I’m not!
And that was the beginning of a major shift in my life.
This is what we do as writers. We find and record the meaning in stories. Often we write to create stories that bring forth the meaning for which we hunger. This may help us see states of being in our own lives and suggest possibilities for our readers.
It takes courage to go to the places inside that need healing. It takes guts to dare to change or to dream big. You’ve got this. And Emily’s program, the Meaning Method, is just the support you need to complete your Quest and move into the next phase of your life.
You can find all of Barbara’s books on her website www.barbarasnow.com, or follow her on social through her Author Page. And of course, you can meet her, along with all the other amazing authors in The Writer’s Block.