How Your Story Might Begin…

Here’s a little something that may encourage you in your pursuit of the art you were created for, friend. Whether it’s crafting an image, a story, or your own story—if you’re going to create works of significance, you’ll need to be courageous. And you may just have to “borrow a little brave” from your circle.

What? You don’t have a circle?

You need a tribe, a circle!

It all began on a Saturday in spring that year. A bold Craftsman home dominated the corner lot in early spring. Soon the trees would leaf out, and she’d peek out from the foliage and seem almost dainty. In a matter of weeks no one would be able to tell just how much house filled the yard.
We gathered in the cozy front room, a mix of chairs and Amish-made furniture. Plaster walls, warm wood, and brick fireplace made the perfect, comfortable backdrop. Each week we got to know each other better—likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, writing dreams and aspirations. The friends made in the room became some of my closest simply because they listened to my heart (often dripping all over my pages), and they responded. Each month the circle might grow or shrink, but the magic happened every time. The encouragement and energy flowed easily, and I felt more ready to lean into my stories, attempt to string just a few more vulnerable words together, and maybe even do something crazy—think about sharing it with others!
I’d found my tribe. These women believed words were powerful, and they weren’t afraid to use them. Many of them believed the words they put on the page could be precious and beautiful and useful in the lives of others. Those of us who weren’t quite convinced had to borrow a little brave from the ones who were. The borrowing was easy, and the lending was free.
At the beginning I was a charred lump of coal just a little distance from the others, but coals are funny things. They hold heat long after the flames have died away. The temperature range is wide and visible for hours. Some coals are red-hot, pulsing with high heat; some give way to the cooler, darker char a little at a time. The slightest breath of a draft should cool the pile, and maybe it does eventually, but not without causing a stir or reigniting a flame. Waves of heat and color ripple over the surface of the embers. One hot coal sparks and excites the others nearby. Are we all captivated by every campfire or fireplace?
Eventually the temperature in the little Craftsman front room climbed, and everyone began to search for that “thing” they’d been created for. We talked about the art each of us was born to make. Then we looked for the unique pieces of art hidden deep in our souls waiting to be shaped and crafted.
And so I began to remember…

Memories are little puffs of cloud vapor, easily blown with the winds,
shapeshifting from moment to moment.
Opaque with significance. Elusive in their misty recollections

I hope you enjoy this piece.  Now, find your tribe! Get your circle!

~jennifer

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