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A Day For "Me"

I’m lying on the floor, unable to move.   I’m paralysed.  I’ve been here already a while, I don’t even know how long.  The room is dark, except for a dim light near the door, but not uncomfortable.  The floor is hard underneath my back.

My baby son breathes lightly in his cot beside me,  not asleep as I can feel him holding my finger tightly.  The only other sound is the TV downstairs, a distant, discordant frustrating sound.  I’m trapped.  I cannot move.  


I reflected on my day thus far.  A Saturday,  time for the family.  It started very early when I quickly showered, dressed and crept out the door anxious not to wake daddy or the kids   It was minus 12 degrees, snow falling heavily, and  I was excited, exhilarated!  Today I was going to have a “me” day,  to do something very special.   A creative writing course,  in which I would write a personal essay, and apparently, find my personal odyssey.   


We gathered at the Zunftmeisterstube, mostly ladies, and met our speaker.  Paul Spencer Sochaczewski is an international journalist, a published author, and an expert trainer in writing.    We were all pensive, wondering if giving up our Saturdays was a good idea after all.  The room was medieval, dark but well lit, and the snow flakes falling outside were now fluffy and soft, and there was a sense that time had slowed.


Paul took us through several techniques; zen music writing,  circular stories, the importance of keeping the stakes high, the story moving, action, dialogue,  and always we had to share our stories.   Our stories.   A mother and daughter in two different teams came out with the same heart wrenching detail of their lives, but from completely different perspectives.   We wrote the beginnings, and we wrote them again.  Which one do we like better?  Up the stakes!  We wrote to Beethoven,  we wrote to Bach.  Swan Lake … the thoughts are tumbling out onto the paper.  We wrote from our hearts.  Without exception, we wrote well.   Paul is a master, a genius, the conductor who has full control but lets every artist express themselves individually.   We’re tired and happy, and we want to write forever.  We’ll start a club! 


Suddenly its already 5 and we’ve been at it the whole day.  Its over.   We take our enthusiasm with us,  to our cars, or the tram,  onto the train,  back home.  


“Hi honey, I’m on the way now” .   “What are we going to eat, I’m not cooking, I’m not doing one more thing for the kids today”.  “Its OK, I can make something quickly when I get there, did you have a good day?”  “We went sledding”.  “All of you together?”  “Yes, obviously as we had no choice seeing as you weren’t here.”   I drive quickly.


At home I cuddle the kids, listen to their tales of falls and ouches, and cold fingers.  I cuddle them again, and am the main focus of their attention.  Warm food, a boisterous bath, another cuddle.  Playing on the couch, jumping on the bed, lining all the cars up in a row.  Going shopping with a bag and trolley, taking all the toys with, and then playing hide and seek.  No bed, no.  We want mummy.  We want to play.  We want to play more. 


And now?  I should move, clean up, fold the washing, put away the sledding gear, there is so much to do.   I’m on the floor, beside a bed, and I can’t move for fear my little brat will wake.  I’m trapped here beside him holding his hand.    Trapped, and for the first time in ages,   I’m not doing anything, or rushing anywhere.    And I smile with pure bliss.   I found my odyssey, I found my own blue sky. 


Thank you to Paul, and to BlueSky for offering this course!     


This article was written by a participant at our January 29 workshop:  “Exploring your Personal Odyssey through Writing”.