Whenever I hear a story like the one I heard today on PRI’s The World about Manze Dayila, I always want to hear the parts they leave out.
Manze Dayila’s life has been extraordinary: Pregnant woman, 19 years old, boards a boat from Haiti along with other refugees, gets waylaid and hospitalized in Cuba, fights the Cuban doctors to re-board the broken-down boat, continues on to the US, and 6 days after washing up on Miami’s shores gives birth to a baby girl. 20 years later she lives in New York City, and has recorded her first album, designs clothing, and is a gifted chef.
It’s so very inspiring. And frustrating!!!! I want to know the part in the middle! I want to know the everyday grind of tasks and laundry and food. I want to hear about the small and constant decisions that lead her to her present circumstances. To me, the journey FROM young pregnant girl with teeth-gritting determination TO woman living a successful life as an artist is the interesting part. What happened in between???
I feel the same way about Pema Chodron. Her story fascinates me, and leaves me full of questions: New jersey housewife and mother of 2 gets divorced, has a crises of life, realizes that it’s OK to acknowledge unhappiness and ends up the first Buddhist nun to run a monastery in the west, and one of the most revered, accessible, and popular spiritual teachers of my time. That’s quite a life-change. I want to know it happened! Don’t you?
I just had an epiphany. This nitty-gritty find-your-way-through-the-daily-grind is the reason I like blogging so much. I am not in the midst of an amazing transformation. Mine is not a story that will be told on PRI. My family and I are simply taking a bit of a risk and turning our ship in a different direction than the one we’ve been on. Here’s the cool thing though: we are documenting every step in the process.
I don’t know if anybody is ever going to visit this site or read this blog. Bob and I are still getting the site designed, and no one knows it exists yet. But even if it’s not ever going to be interesting to the world, it’s interesting, and very enlightening, to me to write it all down. Wow – I just realized that. I can’t wait to see this journey of uncertainty unfold for me and mine. Writing it down crystallizes the thought process, and forces one to dwell on the details.