Memoir Writing for Life Purpose – Back Ground: Why Are We Here?

“Our lives are our story, and our story is our life.  Story is the narrative thread of our experience – not what literally happens, but what we make out of what happens, what we tell each other and what we remember.  This narrative determines much of what we do with the time given us between the opening of the blank page the day we are born and the closing of the book the day we die.”

–  Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story by Christina Baldwin

I am here because I find that our stories are like riddles, leaving strange and mysterious clues about who we are.  We are so busy and distracted with life that we often totally miss them.  Yet this puzzle, this little mystery floats around us waiting for us to jump and get ourselves hooked.

The world is magical and amazing.  I want to help you see it too.  Our lives are a mystery, a message that needs decoding.   If perhaps I could reach one clue or snatch a riddle that is floating in the wind around you like a bubble gum wrapper just to get you hooked, to allow you one peek into the mystery that awaits you, I will do it gladly.

This Monday blog on finding your path, cutting the brush away, pulling at those wonderful dandelions, is all about finding the treasure in everything.  Even those memories that are less than welcoming and have caused you so much suffering.  There are gifts in those memories.  Maybe the best gifts ever are hiding in your darkest moments if you can face them.  But we are not there yet.  We are just beginning.  There are ways around resolving those past memories without even having to remember them.  Sound like a magic trick?  Well it is.  Cause life is magic.  So many possibilities you have no idea!

Please, jump on my bandwagon, even if is three years or ten years after I have posted this.  Write or email me if I don’t respond to a comment on this website.  Who knows where life will take me.  But I can assure you this desire to uncover a mystery will always be with me.  I am 36 years old and it has been with me my whole life from loving the art of algebra and calculus and don’t even get me started on the joy of unravelling triangles in geo-trig.  It is the reason I love looking at hundred year old farm houses left abandoned on the prairies and fantasize about them, particularly the women, living their life purpose and finding joy, when they have nothing.

I look forward to sharing with you my tricks of the trade I have learned over the years and sharing some stories.  We are all connected in my view so I welcome your stories and the opportunity for us all to share and inspire each other as time goes on.

What we need for our journey:

You need to discover how you like to write.  What method allows you to zone out and say/write all those things you would never say if you were conscious.  I know I blog on the laptop but when I want to do a writing prompt or write some memoirs I need pen and paper.  Not just any pen and paper.  I am fussy about the quality and colour of paper.  I can not write on white paper.  For the longest time I didn’t even want lined paper.  If I wanted to write sideways or at an angle I wanted to be free to do that and unlined paper gave me that opportunity easily.  I also need good quality.  My paper has to be smooth.

Pens, well there is another issue.  I try out many.  My pens need to be smooth and depending on the paper I am using I grab a different pen.  Now maybe you won’t be as fussy as me but I welcome you to experiment.  There is no right or wrong way, just your way.

PS:

Explore and don’t forget to pay attention to those thoughts in the gap of your consciousness.

Knowing

Names have been changed to protect identity.

I met Ali at a youth community center.  He was running film making workshops and I was doing some creative arts workshops.  Both of us were targeting youth at risk.  He was needing some help to get his NGO off the ground.  I was working for two other NGOs at the time and volunteered to help him.

I was at every project watching him work.  He was always focused and passionate about what he did.  His wife suppported him in every aspect and her voice seemed to be the only one that he would listen to if his passion was taking him away and she felt he needed to come back to the present moment.

I feel, and this is my opinion only, that he seemed inattentive to his two sons.  One of them liked making films and I feel he identified with him more but still his mind was on creating a picture for a message.  Ali was so involved he could not see past his art.  He lived and breathed it. He was very gentle with his family.  Not a yeller.  Always kind but you could tell his mind was busy creating something all the time.

I left the NGO world to enter the world of the public service.  Which means to say, I took a government job with more money. Then I left the government job to find myself.  In the process I found Ali.  We stopped and had lunch together and I found myself asking him a hundred questions about how he knew he loved the arts and how he persisted through it.

He told me that as soon as a photo camera had fallen into his hands he knew.  He took pictures of everything and became the elementary school newspaper boy although there was no newspaper.  He posted all his pictures and writings up on the hall of his school in the middle east.  He tells me about this with such depth.  I feel nothing could have stopped him.  Not only did he need to take pictures and write about events, he also needed to share it.  It was a force or energy working through him and could not be stopped.

Out of school hours he sold potatoes on the street corner for money to buy black out material to make a dark room in his childhood home.  A young boy at this time, his parents saw that he was different than the rest of him but they never prevented him from doing what he wanted.  They gave him a room to convert to a dark room.  (How many of us would do that?)  He tells stories of him and neighbourhood kids running down his street with building materials.  I was impressed, but not surprised, at how he recruited others to work towards his campaign.  I too had been swept up in his passion.  It is not just his art but his ideals that are appealing to me.

Highschool continued his passion.  He took photographs and wrote stories for the school.  His ideals becoming more grown up and clear.  He was someone with strong socialist beliefs and it was clear that he was going to have to leave his country.  He was on opposite ends of the government of the time.

He came to Canada and stumbled on the opportunity to work in graphic design and then film.  Always trying to portray a higher message with his art.  Even how his story ‘stumbled’ together is by a design that one could not have planned but came so easily.  While he talks I think life takes us on a journey.  We ask and the pieces fit together if we believe.  And Ali believes.  It never seemed to come to his mind to question what he was after.  He moves towards it like he is absolutely sure-footed in every step.

His art eventually moving him from Ontario to Saskatatchewan this is where I met him.  Both of us trying to get youth to become themselves and giving them opportunities to explore who they are free of charge.  His opportunity is one allowing them to speak out.

As we talked I sensed he was getting anxious to move back into the arts.  He has been teaching at the university for some time and really wants to create art again.

I ask him about his sibling and parents.  I recall him being distant with his own children and wondered if he was like that as a child.  He describes the same story.  He feels he was always off doing his own thing and never felt he got to know them. He also never saw them again after he left at the age of 18.  He is now in his 50’s.  His father has since passed on.

We go our separate ways but I wonder if he still has a message to get out to the world?  Or has he already?  There were a few youth that made films and won awards at Film Festivals under his inspiration.  Maybe he is meant to inspire many people or maybe just one.  Maybe he was meant to meet up with me so I could tell his story and it would impact someone else.  Or does he need to create a masterpiece film?  It doesn’t matter if it won’t make him famous.  He just needs one person to see it to make a difference.  I wonder, what is his life purpose?  Just doing art or is it a message?  Or perhaps it is a change in society even if the shift is ever so slight.  We move with small adjustments and not big ones.

Surely his purpose is in the arts or at the very least it is his medium.  He has a message to bring and I do believe he wants to bring it internationally through the arts.  I don’t think he is done yet.  He wants to make a difference.  With his focus and determination I do believe he can do it. I don’t think anything can stop him.  Do we know when we have accomplished what we are suppose to accomplish?  Do we sit back and say, “This is it.  This is as good as I will ever say/do/be what I came here to say/do/be.”   Will it be a feeling inside us of fulfilment?

The Scheme of Things – Introduction

The Scheme of Things is about discovering and understanding life.  My current mission is to understanding the concept of life-purpose.  This part of my blog, or website, will share other people’s stories and my biased thoughts of them.  Feel free to share any comments or thoughts on the subject matter.  The more feedback the better.

Crazy Or Not?

I have been thinking about those crazy moments where everyone in your life tells you to not do something yet you feel compelled to go ahead with it anyway.

Maybe you are dating someone and everyone tells you to leave him or her. Or perhaps you want to move back to your old home town where there is nothing. You feel compelled to move forward with your crazy schemes yet those closest to you say don’t do it.

Maybe you make a career choice that is a bit of leap. Once again, friends and family expressed concerns.

When is your idea or desire genius and you need to break free from the group and when is it crazy and you should follow your friends? Can you tell the difference beforehand or is it your journey regardless of it being a good or bad decision, perhaps you have some karmic lesson to learn from the decision or action?

Thoughts?

Waiting To Exhale

Waiting to exhale … that deep breath as you settle into comfort and truth and love and yourself.  When you get what you always wanted.  I have felt so much motivation and action this week.  I do believe that my energy and passion has come from the novel A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry which I completed reading on Tuesday.  The book left me feeling exhilarated and confident – more sure of myself, who I am, and my goals.  I love uncovering a mystery!  This week has been one long inhale and now I must release.

The work I have done this week has cleared up my intention on blogging for I need one to keep up in this ratrace on the internet. I have always found blogging, and still do but maybe it is lessened a bit, a crazy, intense form of media.  There is so much of it out there and so much pressure to get numbers and attract people.  It is overwhelming.  It is like everyone has their own newspapers and has to be at every street corner trying to sell, screaming above the person beside them.

Yet I have this desire to be of service.  I wish to inspire people to be themselves.  Perhaps find themselves first.  Clear away all the anger and hurt and expectations.  Shake the dusty blankets off all the agreeing and trying and settle into being you.   I want people to notice the clues to being themselves – uncover their purpose – their destiny.   The only way to help is to hear stories.  I would love to help you uncover your unsolved mystery.  Or perhaps hear how you uncovered it.  Maybe you always new it and have never felt that lost feeling some of us have.

It is my intention for people to find the hidden clues of who they are.  Just as I did in my book Sunlight.  To live a life doing and being what you love.  Like solving the mystery of Anne Perry’s novels you need some querying and questioning but also time for reflection.

Understanding the concept of life-purpose is my passion.  I feel more comfortable and sure of it’s direction.  It is my niche.  It is my quest.  Ahh … I can exhale.

What is something that you did, saw, read, experienced, whatever, that left you feeling exhilarated?