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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights"

A big-time New York editor is fascinated by my story.

He's also said that the books he'll consider buying and taking on as a project, to edit and publish, are ones that must keep him on the subway and make him miss his stop. So I'm also thinking of Michael as I write, trying to find ways to weave the plot to keep him hooked, make him miss his stop.

One can aspire to less.

I'll bet that one of the things that makes him a good editor is that he is an excellent listener. He managed to weasel out of me more information more quickly than my first psychologist, post attack, ever knew.

At one point, describing my "thing" about Poland, I blurted out, "Poland saved me."

"No," he said, "you saved yourself."

That comment, and the entire conversation was a turning point in my healng journey. I felt powerful again in a way I'd lost for years. Confidence, chutzpah, and gratitude poured over me then, especially as my 'truth shivers' confirmed the truth of his words. Intuitively, I knew he was right.

We watched the movie "Julie and Julia" again tonight. And I'd forgotten that line, when Julie tells her husband, "Julia (Child) saved me," and her husband responds, "you saved yourself."

So, this is interesting. This same editor was at Little,Brown when Julie Powell's book was published there. Did he get the line from her, or did she get it from him?

Whichever, I'm glad he held on to it. And used it on me.

It's not arrogance to claim the portion of agency, of power, that one can rightly assert. Of course I didn't exactly save myself. Not without a lot of help. But let's not be too humble.

Let's acknowledge and be glad and grateful for what we ourselves are able to do, for ourselves, for our own good, for our own healing. Let's claim the resourcefulness and ingenuity and clever creativity that contribute to our growth, recovery, learning, development and healing. We're not victims. We're not passive receivers of our lives, we're the actors, the forces for good, for change.

"No," he said, "you saved yourself."

Mike, Julie, whomever came up with it first, thank you. Thank you for reminding me again that I am, we all are, the writers of our own stories, the weavers of our own plots.

Now, I sure hope, when the time comes to submit the manuscript, that I can keep Mike reading right on past his subway stop, reading about people who saved themselves.

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