I already mentioned that I’m a big podcast girl. Lately, having gone through every Oprah podcast available, I started listening to the Magic Lessons podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic (and, of course, Eat, Pray, Love). They are a lot about creativity and living as an artist, and a lot about life, too.
Today I was listening to the “Leap into the Fire” episode with Martha Beck (Oprah’s life coach and monthly contributor to the O Magazine). Beck talks about leaving the Mormon church, writing a book about it, and receiving death threats, organized hate mail; people even tried to have her arrested.
She tells the story of wishing she could go back to Utah. Of loving to ski, and missing the snow. Utah’s particularly beautiful and signature snow. And at some point, the risk of being discovered by people who hated her was not enough of a price to deny herself a perfect morning in perfect snow.
She went to a Starbucks. She considered wearing her ski mask to avoid attention, but Mormons aren’t allowed to drink coffee, so she figured she wouldn’t run into anyone who wished her harm. (I have no particular views on Mormonism, by the way. I’m just telling this story.)
The woman who handed Beck her coffee, with her free hand, grabbed Beck’s other hand. “Thank you,” she said, “for writing that book.”
Beck relayed to Gilbert, “If she was the only one who had ever been touched by that book, that would have been worth it. That, and going back to reclaim the lost parts of myself.”
I stopped the podcast. Froze.
“Wow,” I said. I let that phrase repeat itself in my mind.
I clicked the button to go fifteen seconds back, and listened again.
The lost parts of myself.
I closed my eyes.
I know where they are. Where’d I’d have to back to. The physical space I’d have to stand in again, to reclaim the whole of my experiences. Who I am and who I’ve been. I didn’t even have to think about it.
I know where I’d have to go back to. Do you?