A Daughter’s Memoir of a Half-Healed Heart
Joanne’s life is derailed when her mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When she finds her mother nearly dead in a geriatric psych ward, she turns to her spiritual mentors to understand why this is happening to her family. After discovering she shared an equally harrowing life with her mother hundreds of years prior, Joanne must race against time to heal the unresolved issues from their past.
The Ticket by Joanne…
For some reason
Loves to consume me,
Believing I am alone
The tremendous tasks
God hints at
Today I remember
Need do nothing.
She is only along for the Ride.
She didn’t build the tracks.
She didn’t hand-select the engineers
She was only invited.
Given a free ticket
To be an extension
If she chooses.
It is not required.
There is no less love
Awaiting her in Heaven
Or on Earth
If she says no,
Choosing this life
Simply touching wet moss on cedars
And absorbing motherhood.
But if this small She
Chooses to take the ticket
How very large God is,
Then fear becomes meaningless
And a journey
Too brilliant to fathom now,
Taken by the one within her
Who remains calm and silent,
her writing journey-
A pile of books was hidden under the covers, annoying my father who insisted I turn out the lights. Jungle Book and Lady and the Tramp story-records were piled high on my blue shag carpet next to my toddler-sized record player. I couldn’t sleep until I heard a story.
From toddler to teen, I consumed stories and created my own. Pictures in markers and crayon accented my tales. In University, however, the joy of freely creating and writing came to a halt. A professor slayed my analytical discussion of British Literature. It was too creative. He drained the life from my words. Sterilized them. If this was “proper” writing, I wanted nothing to do with it.
Along came marriage and motherhood. Writing remained a memory until Dr. Jin Robertson, a charmingly assertive Korean woman crossed my path at a writing conference. Californian housewife meets Korean US Army Major is not a likely match, but we had an instant connection. Less than 24 hours after our chance meeting, she declared I would ghost write her Korean memoirs for an American audience. She had sold a half million copies of her memoir, but had yet to crack the American code. I insisted I wasn’t a writer. She insisted I was. What I had no desire to do for myself I found joyfully doing for her. I came to life again. At first refusing to be paid, I became her volunteer agent, editor, writer, travel host and booker, constant companion, driver and spokesperson when she was visiting California. In the midst of handling her many fans and putting words to her fantastic tales, I realized I had my own stories to tell. I had given her a year of my time, she had given me an unintentional glimpse into my future.
My own stories, tales too intimate to share, materialized soon after. With pen in hand, memories of this life, and many more from my ancient past, started to surface. My soul stumbled through a visceral history. I faced the shadow sides of myself far less innocent than the mother I was now.
To handle the emotions and physical reactions triggered by these unexpected past life and spiritual experiences, I enrolled in a Spiritual Psychology Master’s program. In truth, I had no idea what I was getting into, but my thirty-page application was complete in less than a day. I had studied A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for nearly a decade. I learned the Christianity I was brought up with was very different than the ACIM philosophies I was studying. I had actually tapped into ancient philosophies and what I later learned to be variations of gnosticism and even Plato’s teachings. But I desired community.
Once accepted into my Master’s program, I elected to write a memoir about reclaiming my sexuality via a sacred form of pole dancing, post motherhood, as a year-long assignment for one of my classes. And yes! Such a thing exists! As I wrote, other stories emerged. My modern day stories about my unusual affair and divorce, motherhood, and viewing financial betrayal from a spiritual perspective were reflections of ancient teachings.
My professors and classmates loved my stories, but declaring myself to be a writer, clearing my fears about sharing vulnerable details of my life, and bucking the form of Christianity I was raised with was terrifying. My memoir for my MA in Spiritual Psychology received a grade, then it was put in a closet. I pursued teaching the Artist’s Way, becoming a private Spiritual & Creative Consultant, and an in-house spiritual master teacher for a local luxury resort, but confined my writing to journaling.
After moving to Bath, UK to join my husband, the writing surfaced for a third time. At the encouragement of a friend, I applied to Bath Spa University’s MA in Creative Writing. I was granted late admission. In a whirlwind trip back to the states, I received my student visa and found myself enjoying the campus of Corsham Court. My fears about writing about the spirituality were surfaced and my feet held to the fire. Either claim what I love, or put it to rest forever. I decided to claim it. Even against the warning from professors that the British aren’t big on those kinds of topics, I knew in the US it had become a billion-dollar industry.
My two world of writing and profound fascination with ancient philosophies finally became one.
Having completed my MA in Creative Writing, and continuing writing with classmates and my beloved writing teams in both the US and the UK, I am looking forward to finding my ideal agent – it is time to give birth to the many ideas, chapters, plots, and images that have been dancing in my mind and heart. The world has been waiting for hope, purpose, and joy for far too long. I believe I can offer a path and direction.