Justine’s Tuesday post hit me in a big way, as a writer, certainly, but also as a storyteller. As a writer, we all know the role a supportive community plays in writing success. When support is lacking, we suffer to a degree, but when support turns to outright discouragement (perceived or real)–it’s one more obstacle to tackle.
Justine’s story also resonated with me from a story-telling perspective. I see definite parallels between Cheyenne and Justine. Both are struggling to find a balance between being part of a larger whole (family & community) while staying true to themselves. In fact, just prior to reading Justine’s post, I was knee-deep in researching a particular aspect of the Navajo culture that deals with exactly that. Hawk is schooling Cheyenne (none to gently) in the Navajo Way of life, specifically in a philosophy known as “The Beauty Way” which involves “re-establishing balance and harmony and beauty in one’s life” through connections with nature, family, friends, and to ourselves. The Navajo say it this way:
“Shil hózhó, “with me there is beauty”; shii’ hózhó, “in me there is beauty”; shaa hózhó, “from me beauty radiates.”
Which brings me back to Justine and a third parallel (rule of threes!). Like her, I too am struggling to finish my book in the face of daily challenges that threaten to wash away my writing dreams. But writing a good story—a story that is honest and true—is worth it. Some days it’s difficult to remember that, so I’d like to share an old Native American proverb that will come to be Cheyenne’s mantra:
“We can only be what we give ourselves the power to be.”
What will you do today to give yourself the power to write?