Once Upon a Slug

 

Once upon a very sluggish, non-writing season, my ability to put anything on paper seems to have all but dried up. The minute I sit down at my computer to continue my story, the Laughing Gods show up and start ridiculing.

You think you’re gonna come up with something interesting? It took you nearly the first quarter of a hundred years to grind our your last book. You think you can do it again? Hmmmfff.

Then I excuse myself, give in, and take up something less frustrating, like cooking, cleaning, writing holiday cards, or poking through my files of quilt and cloth doll patterns. I avoid writing like the plague and sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be able to put my thoughts on paper again.

Meanwhile, I satisfy my never-ending curiosity about the expanding Universe by listening to interviews of relatively new and unknown spiritual leaders like Barbara Hand-Clow, Corey Good, David Wilcox, and a growing list of such others, whom I stumbled upon on Gaia TV , my latest door to spiritual growth.

My next book (if it ever comes about) will include my interest in such nonordinary entities such as UFO’s, Angels, and  Spirit Guides. It will describe how my insatiable appetite for  spiritual growth has brought me to such practicess as Shamanism and consulting the Akashic Record. To name only a few.

Some family and friends have long since grown leery of me because of these unconventional interests. Exploring and pioneering these ideas has consumed me since my exit from the convent. I acknowledge that I follow an unconventional spiritual path. The important thing is, I’m finally able to abandon the opinion of others in order to do so.

So it really doesn’t matter that I’m currently not recording my path on paper. I trust I will eventually be able to take up my pen and share more of my unique story again.

 

 

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Chewing My Nails

Yes, I’ve submitted my Once Upon a Convent manuscript to several publishing agents, and just received a request for a detailed proposal . I’ve put off an immediate response because of the amount of work this kind of document entails. I’ve finally begun though, and am determined that one way or another, my book will be published. My story is a unique revelation of the guts of what went on behind convent walls in the mid-twentieth century, and deserves to be shared.

Stand by. You won’t be disappointed.

Falling

The rain has arrived and so has fall. Along with the leaves,  I’m falling ever so gradually into a new and unfamiliar lifestyle. Living alone. Bit by bit, I’m falling out of loneliness and into being okay by myself. My two cats keep me company and my home is small enough that I don’t feel lost.

Many years ago, I joined a communal life after having lived in a large family with seven other siblings. Then I  lived shoulder-to-shoulder and elbow-to-elbow within a community of nuns for nineteen years. After that, I continued to live with others–in and out of relationships–until now. I only lived alone for a brief time in between two of my relationships.

So it doesn’t feel right.

Friends tell me I should enjoy it, but I don’t.

Of course, being with someone doesn’t mean I was never lonely. I mostly felt alone in the convent, even though surrounded by others. I go into detail about this in my book. Which I’m still presenting to potential publishers. Eventually. By then, maybe I’ll be happy living by myself.

Until then, I continue to sometimes stumble

and fall.

Waiting

tree be

It’s more than a little intimidating to have submitted my Once Upon a Time manuscript to agents. Now’s the waiting game and I feel somewhat stripped. Naked. On display before “experts”  who are picking over–or entirely ignoring–what I’ve written. Or downright reject it. I’ve already been duly forewarned that it’s all part of the writing game, but I’m already impatient. I want my story out there and in the many who have told me they want a copy. At least, I hope they still do.

In the meantime, I’m sending out more queries and proposals to other agents. And waiting. Like the tree who stands patiently, allowing her leaves to slowly turn.

The Void

unnamed (2)Crow signifies the Void, which is where I am lately. Waiting for word from a publisher. Waiting to see what’s around the corner. I have come to a crossroads and don’t really know where I’m headed. This being “lost-ness” comes and goes. The path is not as red or obvious as it seems in the photo, and even if it were, Crow stays put. She looks as lost as I am. Waiting a signal for WHAT’S NEXT.

Invisible

sept writing

It’s no wonder I struggle with issues of self-esteem. Until only recently, it had not entered my mind to consider myself a victim. In fact, I pride myself in being strong and resilient at my age. However, I recently stumbled upon some information on the topic of cults and mind control, and saw how applicable it was to my early convent years. During my first five, pre-Vatican II years in the convent, my companions and I were deliberately subjected to a gradual erasure of our individuality. Much like the military, we were broken down and then systematically reformed into more acceptable products.

In short, we were brainwashed.

According to Rick Ross, the founder and executive director of the Rick A. Ross Institute—an expert on cults, controversial groups and movements—there are warning signs of groups and individuals who use such mind control techniques. I recognized each of those listed in an article quoting Rick by Dr. Phil:

  1. 1.Cults enforce a controlled environment: Loved ones are cut off from family,

no communication.

 

In my story, Once Upon a Convent, you will read about how the convent enforced this rule and how it affected me.

  1. In cults, there is a necessity to break down the sense of self—the self-esteem–to literally attack them as individuals on the basis that they are wrong

and that the group is right.

Knowing this has begun to help me “put myself back together” again. My book gives evidence of the erasure of my personal identity.

  1. Instill a new sense of identity: a group identity

that reinforces and outlines the right behavior and the right way of being.

Wearing the habit and following the rules took away who I was as an individual—even as a teen-ager and blossoming young woman. To this day, I feel somewhat lost when I don’t belong to some kind of other-ness—marriage, partnership, or communal endeavor.


  1. Isolate: Cut off from outside world. Fear keeps them trapped

inside the environment of the group.

 

Even without fences, guards, or chains, we were trapped within the remote confines of a rural community, far from old friends, family, and the rest of the world.

The process of writing my story has unearthed the similarity between cults and my convent experience. I understand now, why I sometimes feel invisible. Like I wouldn’t be noticed unless I was gone. In the convent, I remained unseen, unless I allowed the dust in my assigned hallway to accumulate to any measurable degree. I was important in my performance of duty. Had there been no one to dry the pots and pans during my nightly dish duty, someone would have come looking for me. Or had my assigned spot in chapel been unoccupied during prayer, my absence would have been noted. As long as I fit into my prescribed slot in the communal machine, no one gave me a second thought.

Except my parents, who regularly wrote me about how much they missed me. Otherwise, I felt erased. Unimportant. We were taught that invisibility was a noble way for nun to feel. It was an indication that we were advancing toward the state of being without ego—of becoming humble. I quickly mastered the art of melding into the crowd within days of my entrance.

Had our differing attributes been highlighted, we would all have been enriched. Instead, we were individually erased. Expected to regard everyone equally; melt into the background, and act as one.

I still know how to disappear, but it no longer feels right. I remain marginally unsure of myself, and find it difficult to fade out. I still work on accepting myself as a unique individual. On some level, I’m still overcoming a deeply instilled sense of unworthiness.

Though my head definitely knows otherwise.