Saturday, November 10, 2012

Unfurl

Wednesday night I attended the first meeting of a new women's discussion group at my church. The group was called UNFURL.  It was described in the order of service as a chance to talk about the transitions in women's lives.  When I first saw that word, Unfurl, a let out a deep breath of relief and my shoulders dropped into a more comfortable position. Who knew that I needed unfurling?

Immediately, pictures formed in my mind. The rose bud that begins so tight and opens to provide beauty and amazing aroma. The butterfly that escapes from the tight cocoon and makes me want to follow them from flower to flower. A flag that is folded into a tight triangle and is unfurled and set high upon a post for all to see and to understand its values. The wings of a dove that is quiet and still, but then lifts into the air--wide in flight--with an ease to fly anywhere. This was a group of women ranging in age from mid 20's to mid 70's (a guess, as we didn't each say how old we were). Our first task was to come up with discussion topics that were meaningful to us. What was both surprising and fulfilling was that in spite of our age differences, each brainstormed topic spoke to each woman in the group. For example, I thought the topic of "changing bodies" was particularly important to those of us in the menopause or post-menopause time of our life. However, women in their 20's and 30's identified with it too as they were entering into or coming out of child-bearing or choosing not to have children. Every topic we put on the flip chart garnered nods, laughs, affirmations.

The cross-generational affirmation of issues was an eye-opener for me. It also reinforced the reason I write women's fiction and romance.  It is a chance to tell the stories of women, to give voice to our every day thoughts and sometimes to our highest aspirations.  In many ways my novels are the way that I unfurl. Through the journeys of my female protagonists I have the opportunity to be smart, thoughtful, snarky, sexy, young, middle-aged, old, to overcome wounds, and to right wrongs. They are all a part of me. I suspect that is also why I love to read women's fiction.

Below is my favorite representation of the word "unfurl." I found this image on a Facebook site about meditation and energy work. It captures my own aspirations to unfurl outside of my novels too, to unfurl so that my inner wings--my spiritual wings-- can be free to fly.

What does "unfurl" say to you?

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