Over the incredibly short distance of 57 years, I have traveled what feels like many lifetimes. The earlier ones led from Natick, a suburb of Boston, through New Haven, Connecticut en route to Clark Atlanta University, where I received an MSW in 1979.
In the Canadian incarnations, after my marriage ended, Toronto became an addictions, domestic violence, and mental health stepping stone to Northern Ontario to work in creative arts and trauma resolution. Ojibwe and Cree communities, gave new meaning to my life, ultimately leading to British Columbia to work in first nation child repatriation for the Spalts’in nation, which brought me back to children’s mental health in Eastern Ontario.
One year after 9 -11 I completed by far the most challenging and dangerous transition of all, returning to the US. Jumping from that precipice led to Stamford, Connecticut and working in Child Welfare in the South Bronx, which ultimately brought me full circle, back to my starting point, after I made the decision to become a full time caregiver to my 91 year old mother.
What can I possibly tell you that would help you understand the context of this blog, and more importantly, give you insight into the things you might be curious about? The journey of professional/intellectual self, led through a multitude of cultural landscapes with circumstances vastly different from my own, yet surprisingly familiar and ultimately contributing to my healing; connects to the journey of growing the emotional garden of my heart, which has felt at times impossibly difficult, and at times inspiring resilient; connects to the journey of my spirit, with it’s constant returning deep within to confront and explore what is known in a quest for authenticity; connects to the journey of my physical self that has brought me often to my knees and occasionally to some of the highest places I have known; connects to the … well you get the idea.
The whole of this unlikely spiraling wheel is my life. It is not extraordinary in accomplishment and yet it may have relevancy to the language that all hearts speak. I hope you will find yourself in some of these words, or at least food for thought, as you continue to make sense of your life. My intention is to be fearless in both honesty and willingness to write about this one version of evolving truth. This is me, made up of many journeys, trying to make sense of life, both where it has been and where it is heading.
My niece Maia asked, when I first began writing a journal. I told her that from the age of seven on, it has been my practice to write or draw a little something, (with very few exceptions) each and everyday. Her reply, “you must have like seven million bazillion journals” made me smile. I don’t know about all that, but in the 40 or so volumes that do exist there has to be at least a good story or two, which should keep us busy for a while. Blessings and Peace. Z