About Running on Sand

There comes a time in your life, which feels like a storm, and after it you are never quite the same. You have to put the pieces back together and they will never quite fit. Some are lost and some are new. There are holes and cracks you try to hide. The scenery is different too: you could be looking through a window, standing on a balcony. Are you stronger or weaker? You are both. You will learn you can feel broken but be whole. This story is about how you do that, about learning to run on sand when nothing quite feels solid, how you can feel safe with sand when you adjust to it.  

I am not the girl in this story and her story is not mine. But when you're looking out a window after the storm you can get stuck and doors can feel too hard to get through. You find the exits in your mind instead and that is what I did while writing this book. When you emerge you will have changed without quite knowing how. 

In writing this book however I also opened doors in my mind which had been locked just as Grace does. Just as she had I had locked them for a reason. Locks shut us out and shut things in. The locked doors in our minds shut away things we not ready to remember yet and the key turns when we are or perhaps it is more like finding a password. I wonder if in writing a book your mind discovers the password, like finding a word has been drawn in your mind which was not there before. Behind the door you can find pictures, memories put there a long, long time ago. The door can suddenly open almost pulling you inside. That I think must have been what happened one night as I was sitting in bed writing an important chapter of the book. All of a sudden I was somewhere else, sometime else and something was happening which I knew had happened but until then had no clear memories of, just the equivalent of a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Then in that room I found more pieces which joined all by themselves. I remembered I had been sexually abused when I was probably about 10 to12 years old, I sat in my bed and saw bits of what had happened in another room in another house but knew there were still bits missing. Like a jigsaw there are still gaps. I have no idea how many, I have no idea what I would see if the gaps filled in and maybe I don't want to: maybe that girl left the gaps for a reason. 

So writing is a powerful process. It is a two-way process: we tell a story, suddenly seeing different pages of our own story too. That handwriting is much younger, there may only be pictures, sketches even. Sometimes memories are better not disturbed. I picture her, her finger on her lips, saying shush.

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