Opening the Box

Written by on January 4, 2012 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 0 Comments

It could be a Pandora’s Box…or a treasure box. Perhaps it’s a little of both.

Today on the phone, my oldest daughter, Dionna informed me she had a box filled with writings by my mother — loose leaf paper (numbered, thank goodness), scraps of paper, and envelopes, lots of envelopes written on the front and back.

Is this where I got that habit? Jotting down notes on the closest piece of paper I can find, whole pieces, little pieces, and yes, envelopes and yes, numbered!

So how much influence does my mother really have on me, on my writing that I had always thought of as my talent? After all, hers was painting. What influence could she, who could barely speak the language, have on me in that area?

Obviously, in ways I never expected.

Funny, I never made the connection as I threw them all into the box. I had saved those papers, when I cleared out her apartment after she passed away. A few years ago, when I closed my storage, I asked Dionna to keep them for me.

In all this time, 15 years now, I never looked at them. Actually forgot about them, until Dionna brought them to my attention today.

So this year I will read them. Why not? Something is drawing me down this path, and it’s not just so that I can relaunch a blog or create a new FaceBook page.

It may take me the entire year…or two…or even longer. It will not be easy.

Dionna read just a few lines from one envelope, which was an interesting experience. Because when my mother wrote, if she didn’t write entirely in Japanese, she wrote in both English AND Japanese. She’d start to write in English. If she didn’t know the English word, which was just about every sentence, she used Japanese. And of course, they would be significant words, like what the sentence was about.

But I recognized right away the several sentences Dionna read, even with the missing English. She was writing about Vernice and our brother. And I knew, even with the missing English words, she was trying to explain to herself why she had not seen what was going on in our family.

For a moment, I could feel doubt constricting my chest and throat. Do I want to do this?

Well, I won’t lie. A part of me says, “No!”

And it is louder than the part that says, “Well…yes”. But not stronger.

That fact is, it could be a Pandora’s Box or it could be a treasure. And there’s no one around to tell me which one it is. It may be that everything worthwhile is a little bit of both, or maybe that’s what we tell ourselves to help us go through where we would not.

But I think that perhaps, in lifting the lid to the unknown or facing what we fear, we may find that the shadows we’re so afraid of are actually cast from the wings of angels coming to take us to that place of wholeness. But more than that, if for no other reason, I’m ready to hear my mother’s voice through these words she had written years ago. The words she left behind.

That, alone, is enough for me.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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