Leah is sitting in her sugary blue bathrobe, cross-legged in front of the open door to her studio. It's barely 40 degrees out, and soon she may have to close the door because her fingers are turning ice cold and tightening around her pen. But when she sits here in meditation with the door open and the fresh air flooding inside, she feels so alive. She feels a kind of joy she can't explain.
Today the sun will rise at 7:07 a.m. Meanwhile, the frothy white fog sits thick on the meadow. She writes steadily in her journal, trying once more to get the ideas out of her head. She had to write that chapter about hating and loving her father because she just had to. Mary insists she is doing a service to other women in the MeToo movement. Mary says a woman's self esteem -- her whole notion of who she is and how she relates to the world and her body -- is directly related to her father:
"A father's attitude toward his daughter and her body becomes the core of her self-esteem. If it is negative and punitive and judgmental, well then it's hard for the daughter to love and affirm herself."
Leah stops. The sun is steadily climbing, casting golden shadows on the soft green blanket that is the meadow. One bright yellow tree stands out.
There's more in her head to get down on paper. Leah wrote the last chapter, called "Deconstructing Shame One Letter at a Time," about shame, or in Italian
V E R G O G N A
and afterwards she felt so light and free of any anxiety!
But she is still very confused about how public she wants to be with this story. She let her friends read it and it sits on the blog, but there isn't all that much traffic to the blog.
The real issue is will she publish the story as an e-book, the way she told her husband she would the other day. Then her family could read it! Her sisters. Her cousins. Leah wishes she had the publishing thing figured out. She wishes she was like her friend Peg who doesn't think about it.
Leah realizes that she thinks about publishing because she's been a professional writer for much of her life.
Thank God for this journal, she thinks. It doesn't have to earn praise or attract readers. And thank God too for writing.
For letters of the alphabet.
And of course, for stories.
Leah stops writing. Her fingers are icy twigs! Suddenly, Leah recalls all that she wrote about feeling frozen inside. It's taken so many, many months to figure out what those feelings were all about.
She puts down her pen and when she looks up the sky is that sugary blue she loves so much.
The birds are calling out the sun to rise rise rise.
Leah closes the door
and her eyes.
It's a perfect time to meditate, to stop the chatter inside her head.