Claudia went to sleep, exhausted, and slept fitfully. Upon awakening, she was aware that she’d had some wild and unimaginable dreams, as always. Her dreams seemed to be taking on a life of their own. This particular morning, she actually remembered one that involved a long road and that the road had spoken to her. “How could this be?” she wondered in her awakened state. And yet, in the dream, she was sure that the road had, indeed, spoken to her. It had said, “You need to go right.” The message made no sense to her. Was she supposed to turn right? Were her politics in question? Was she on the correct path?

As she sipped her coffee, she suddenly sat up straight as she wondered if she was being invited to write. Claudia had begun many journals, but usually only contributed to them when she was upset and needed some place to vent. She had rarely, if ever, written in a calm state. Something about the idea of writing about the dream really resonated with her, so she went through a drawer and found a half filled journal and opened it up. “Where shall I begin?” she wondered. She grasped a pen, opened the journal to a fresh, blank page and across the top printed, “YOU NEED TO GO RIGHT.” “OK,” she thought and began to chuckle to herself as she realized what the message may have been saying to her.  What if “right” was actually “write?” “If I’m going to get this right, I’d better start at the beginning,” said out loud.

Filling her mug with another cup of coffee, Claudia began to write her story, beginning with the day she was born. “Who was there to greet me?” she wondered. Knowing that she was the youngest of four, she also wondered how the other siblings felt about a new younger sister. She had a sense that perhaps not all of them had been excited. Claudia wrote about the people she loved and who loved her. She also wrote about the people she didn’t love and those who had hurt her. She wrote and wrote and found herself amazed at the intensity of feelings she felt as she wrote and brought up long forgotten stories.

Finally she stopped writing, mostly because her hand was cramped. “Wow,” she thought. “I’ve been writing for over an hour and yet I feel like I’ve got so much more to say.” Claudia also realized something else: she wasn’t as angry as she’d felt the day before. The writing made her feel lighter but she was filled with judgments about what she had written. The heaviness began to return and with it, some sadness. Picking up the phone, Claudia began to punch in some familiar numbers.