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Writing flows easiest when an imagined scene plays in my mind, as if I watch it on film. With mindvision in place, I find words sufficient to lay down the story sequence, paying little attention in the initial transcribing to the quality of writing. If I can capture the essentials of what should be in the story, edits will shape, mould, and refine it into something palatable to readers.

Along with mind vision, fifty-seven years of life experience lends a hand in supplying scenarios and situations. When one lives in a closet and only begins peering out through the keyhole at age forty-three, the accumulated fear and angst push against family, relationships, work, and perception. Opening the door a crack supplies fuel and creates backpressure that blows the hinges off, levelling the door and rendering its ability to shelter to the past, impossible to restore to working order. No longer can it shelter one from the judgements of without, nor can it protect others from the metamorphosis within.

When most nudge fifty, they hope for order in their lives, a world where we possess a mental map, a guide to and working order of life enabling us to navigate, while rewarding us with an overriding stability. We may incur change in one element, say in employment, or with divorce, but the rest of the established set remains, providing enough bedrock for us to deal with a challenge and continue onward.

If our ordered world dissolves, if our map disappears, mayhem ensues. Turning three hundred and sixty degrees, we panic. We see nothing but unfamiliarity and potential paths to destruction, paved with fear. Which way do we go? For me, I threw up my hands in dismay and fear and went into survival mode, hunkered down into a shell. Everything around me, and everywhere I looked seemed out of place and foreign. Up was down, left was right, in was out, shuffled and shook into a besotted conflagrant one spark could ignite.

In this mode, tension rules. Every muscle, every perception felt taut, every divining carried potential risk, it all stirred up and magnified fear and locked me down, as if I were a computer operating system run amok until, unable to function normally, it freezes. In essence, I blue screened, and the only hope was finding a safe mode in which to operate, sift through, and sort out the problem. Except in this situation, no real safe mode exists, save for avoidance of death. Confused and near helplessness, every woken moment tortures, hours stuck in a jungle absent a sense of direction, a guiding map, or even a torch to light the way. Sleep is no refuge, for dreams come that replay the trauma, their purpose intended as helpful, a reminder danger lurked, except such piling on made things worse.

When one passes through such a collection of experiences, if one emerges out of the lost realm, none of it stands forgotten. Time has a way of compartmentalising, our minds healing the wounds yet with remnant scars serving as reminders. Some who pass through the trauma of depression and breakdown might wish to leave the memories locked in confinement, but if as I do, one takes stock and reflects, if one stands and declares these things of the past will not own me, out of the maelstrom emerges one stronger and wiser.

For a creative artist, images from a life storm make compelling inspiration, for drama interests us more than serene, and confrontation more than placidity. Trauma makes future healing possible – and interesting. No need for healing exists if one has never been injured or impaired. Our creations role-play past challenges, and people like to see challenges overcome. Sometimes people hope to see the mighty get theirs too, a topic for another time. For us commoners, David taking on Goliath, or when Norma Rae finds her voice and stands strong against suppressive forces, it enthrals.

My writing comes out of a journey through a perilous unmapped jungle. In there, things snapped at me and some succeeded in gnawing off a chunk of me, yet if looked at from above my foggy mental maze, people would have seen me warring on myself, flagging to cope in a personal world gone awry. Only when I reconfigured and established new order with essential pieces in proper places – read as gender at last correct – could I build on the foundation and reassert rational existence.

Over fourteen years I learned to open doors and pull out the contents of my mental folders, giving them written form. Stories play in my mind, so…I write. Sometimes, trying to transcribe an experience into a fictional scene leaves me feeling the sear of heat, so much so the potential for scorching forces me away from the memory. I came too close for comfort. I know when this happens; my body tenses and writing slows to a crawl, as if some underlying force turns the blood of my fingers to molasses, precluding forward movement of this story tangent without expenditure of inordinate and prodigious amounts of energy. “Stay away, stay away!” my thoughts and memories immune system warns. “Do you know what this did to you? Why would you dare go near it again? Danger!” I generally honour this force, sometimes more, sometimes less (once I scribbled out thirty-five pages before finally heeding its message) because I know there are times it urges me to commit an adverse experience to word, in the right form, with the right signage of caution, with the right measure of hope, for some greater benefit.

Writing with mindvision – in reality, it’s from the heart.