A Reflection at 30 Stories

I just posted my 30th Story of Transgression and thought I’d reflect on the project so far. It’s certainly taking longer than I anticipated. It was supposed to be 100 Stories in as many days, but chronic illness will not allow such a commitment. And that’s ok. I am feeling really good about the positive feedback I’ve received from women who are finding something of value in my stories. And about my own excavations of memory as I love towards crafting personal essays.

This is a different kind of writing for me. Although I always write vulnerably, I usually polish my writing and include the meaning found or transformation achieved. This first round of stories are generally written as shitty first drafts and little to no tidy analysis. It’s mostly the facts of what I’ve lived as a woman who transgresses most cultural and religious rules by both choice and circumstance. It’s raw and emotionally intense some days.

There is a freedom I feel because I have no specific goal to reach with this project other than the 100 Stories themselves. It is helping me develop a consistent writing practice within the limitations of my mind and body. And it’s showing me what stories have impact and why, which is good information for the future.

It also brings me joy to simply have a project again, something that I can claim as creative work. I know I don’t need it to have worth as a human, but it still matters. My heart and soul feel fulfilled in a way they haven’t since my time with the Impropriety Society. I feel excitement about whatever unfolds.

Art by @hyphaea

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.” – Kahlil Gibran. (Image: crop of Waterfall, graphite on paper / digitally coloured.)


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