Friday, May 22, 2009

A Room of Her Own


Virginia Woolf says in her famous essay that in order to be a writer, a woman needs 500 pounds a year (cash) and a room of her own. For the low-low price of just under 500 dollars a month, I got a room of my own today. Aside from my house, in which I share several rooms of my own with my daughter, I now have this.


It is a small room. It is part of the Women's Wellness and Education Center. It is immense to me because it represents my movement, as poet, into several new realms. The first of these is my own "private practice" as writing teacher, editor and creativity coach. I have been moving toward this through a series of fits and starts--and peculiarly strong signals from the universe--that it's time. But the other realm is that of medicine. Women's Wellness and Education Center is a women-run holistic care center for women who are pregnant, women who want to be pregnant and women who have little interest in pregnancy but love a great massage and yoga or pilates class.


Way, way back, I was born into a family of doctors on my father's side (going back three generations) and teachers on my mother's (going back also three generations). As a kid, I expected that I would become a doctor. But by the time college began, it was very clear, and my freshman year chemistry 101 teacher would vouch, medicine was not my path. At least not, I see now, Western medicine. I signed on for literature and never looked back. That is, not until my masters thesis semester of grad school. With only one month left to write a brilliant essay on poetry and three reams of rough draft with no solid thesis anywhere in the mix, I called my father and told him I was dropping out of poetry school and becoming a doctor. I said, "To be a doctor all you have to do is memorize things people already have names for. In poetry, you have to name things no one else has been able to." My father argued against my decision. I couldn't believe my ears. "Don't do it, honey," he said. "Poetry is the better means to finding the truth."


So, here I am taking an office in a wellness center, returning to the roots of two family trees. And little has ever made more sense to me.


Looking back through this blog and all the exploration of alchemy and poetry and how they relate to my deafness and my healing, I see this new part of my life interlace perfectly with all that has come before. I am stepping into myself as poet and healer.


I envision this as a beginning of something wonderful. Perhaps soon, all holistic healing centers will include a poet/memoirist among their staff. We will begin then to heal our minds while we heal our bodies and our spirits.


So, Virginia, and others who find me here musing. . . come by my office at 24 Arlington just off of Charlotte St. Or call for an appointment: 242-7372. It's a beautiful day to begin a new chapter.