A Whole Lot of Connecting Going On

pexels-photo-220067.jpeg I’ve had a fabulous week so far. Dance classes were wonderful. The people who spew negative energy (or maybe they just soak up all available energy, which feels like the same thing) were absent, so only those of us whose energies flowed together were in class. Yeah, I know — that’s not why most people take dance class, but for me, that energy is the real joy. I absolutely love dancing in a group when everyone’s steps match, when every arm movement is the same. It’s odd even for me to realize how much the independent iconoclast that I am can enjoy such an interconnected activity, but that could be why I like it — it’s not part of my usual hermitic life.

Another great thing that happened was that I finally figured out what to do with my Suspense/Thriller Writers group on Facebook. I’d come to hate the group — there were always problems, the most recent one concerning the image of my books on the header. Since I don’t allow promotions in the group, many people objected to my promoting my own books. And for some reason, there was an upsurge of such complaints yesterday. I finally got angry and said, “I have tried everything I can to accommodate people, but no matter what I did, there were problems. If could delete this group, I would. My compromise is the header. Anyone who objects can leave the group.” One sage woman responded, “I don’t see where there’s a ‘compromise’ in allowing only a promotion of the admin’s work. Maybe the page title should be singular, not plural.”

So that’s what I did — changed the group’s name to Suspense/Thriller Writer (meaning me!). And I very blatantly put up a new header to showcase all of my books. I also changed the group’s description to reflect that it’s a discussion group connected to my author page on Facebook. I don’t know why, but it makes me smile to think of reclaiming the group for my own. If anyone doesn’t like it, they can leave.

Today I tried hiking with a pack again. I wasn’t out long — only about an hour, but it felt good. It didn’t feel as if I were exacerbating whatever bit of my thigh I tore last week, but I’m glad I took it easy. The funny thing is, the pack actually felt comfortable, and it wasn’t until I got back that I realized I hadn’t used the sternum strap. The strap is supposed to help support the load and to keep the pack from shifting from side to side, but if most of the weight is on my hips, I’m not sure the strap is necessary. Still, I will experiment. It’s possible I need a strap, just not the one that comes on the pack.

And best of all, I’ve been writing! After all these years, I finally feel as if I am connected to the story again.

This post started out as a list of things that made me smile this week, but I just realized there is a better theme here: connectivity. Feeling connected in dance class, connecting my Facebook group to my author page, connecting the shoulder straps with the sternum strap and the pack to my body, and connecting to my writing. A whole lot of connecting going on!

Wishing you joy of your own connections.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Get Better Acquainted with Your Devil

I don’t follow astrology, but occasionally a friend sends me a link to particularly interesting horoscope of mine, such as this one:

“My definition of a devil is a god who has not been recognized,” said mythologist Joseph Campbell. “It is a power in you to which you have not given expression, and you push it back. And then, like all repressed energy, it builds up and becomes dangerous to the position you’re trying to hold.” Do you agree? I hope so, because you will soon be entering the Get Better Acquainted with Your Devil Phase of your astrological cycle, to be immediately followed by the Transform Your Devil into a God Phase. To get the party started, ask yourself this question: What is the power in you to which you have not given expression?

Even if this particular prognostication isn’t true (and I seldom find horoscopes to mirror anything in my daily life), it is germane to all of our lives. For example: grief. If we repress grief, it assumes an enormous power over us for the rest of our lives, but if we make friends with grief, or at least acknowledge it and let it run its course. Grief isn’t either a god or a devil of course, but it does seem to be a great evil. It can also be a force for good if you let it, helping turn you into the person who can survive an inimaginable loss.

gift2I’m not sure what devil phase I’m in now, what power in me I haven’t yet expressed. Nor do I know what position I’m trying to hold. If this horoscope is true, I will find out soon enough. And if it isn’t true, well, it poses an interesting question. I don’t like repressing any sort of energy, because it takes so much extra energy to keep anything repressed, but if I am repressing something, chances are I wouldn’t know what it is that I am repressing.

Someone once told me I am suppressing my creative energy since I’m not writing fiction, and I suppose it’s possible, but the truth is, there are all sorts of ways to be creating, including blogging and dancing, both of which I am doing. Besides, writing isn’t a god for me — it’s always been an intellectual choice, rather than something I’m compelled to do.

It would be more interesting, of course, if the alleged energy I am repressing is something I don’t know about, because the surprise of finding it and unrepressing it would be fascinating. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m all that fascinating. Still, I’ll be open to both my Get Better Acquainted with Your Devil Phase and my Transform Your Devil into a God Phase. Could be illuminating.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, andDaughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.