This week, my husband George and I are embarking on a 16-city book tour to promote my first memoir, My Journey Through War and Peace (you can grab a copy here or look for it at your favorite independent bookstore!).
As I’ve been planning our stay in each city—where I’m reading, who we’re meeting, the neighborhoods we’ll be passing through—I’ve been feeling nostalgic and thinking about what it means to revisit places of the past as we travel on our heroines’ journeys.
Our tour starts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I raised my son. While we haven’t been gone that long, Cambridge already feels like a place of the past and is full of fond memories and meaningful moments spent with George and Alex.
We’ll make our way to Washington, D.C., which holds all of my childhood memories. It makes me think of my mom, dad and sister, the tough neighborhood we grew up in (I remember one of the older ladies who lived in my building used to carry a brick in her purse!) and the first real sense of freedom I felt visiting museums and libraries on my own as a kid.
We’ll eventually drive across the country to San Francisco, which always makes me think of my grandmother (who lived there her whole life) and her apartment, where every available surface was covered in antiques.
Our next stop is Asheville, North Carolina. My mother and I took a special road trip there before she died. I talk about this journey with my mom in depth in my memoir.
I’m looking forward to spending some time in New York City, where George and I lived in the Penington Friends House in the East Village and where I became a mom. It makes me think of my career as an independent filmmaker, living in community, my first exposure to homeopathy and those early years with George and Alex.
As we prepare to set off on our coast-to-coast book tour, I’m both excited and hesitant to retrace these steps.
I’m excited because the heroine’s journey is really about getting to know our true selves. In order to do that, it’s important that we revisit the places that gave a spark to our lives. There, we find clues about who we are and what we believe that we can either celebrate or mourn, keep or let go.
The journey back also calls attention to an aspect of ourselves that we may have forgotten, may need more work, that we’re still processing or serves as a reminder of how far we’ve come. When I’ve done these trips in the past, I’ve always found interesting nuggets that surface and teach me something new.
On the other hand, some of those nuggets and lessons can be painful. I tend to be a “go through the fire” type of person when it comes to cleansing and desensitizing myself to hard parts of life, but even I get triggered by the memories and experiences from my past that haven’t been fully digested. A trip down memory lane is ripe with opportunities for just that.
And, as Maureen Murdock points out, the heroine’s journey is all about healing old wounds, especially with your mother. I’ve done deep exploration, healing and celebration when it comes to my relationship with Mom—much of which I talk about in my memoir—but you never know when a street or smell or storefront is going to produce a new memory and, with it, another nugget to process.
So, as I stand on the precipice of this new journey, both excited and hesitant, I invite you to turn not just inwards, but also backwards, as you navigate your own heroine’s journey.
What times or places do you feel most nostalgic about? What was going on then? How did you feel during that time? Is there anything from that period that reminds you of your true self? Anything you’ve been carrying from that time that you want to let go?
These are all questions I invite you to ask yourself. If you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!
To honoring our past,
P.S. If you’d like to see my tour schedule and dates, you can find them here!
P.P.S.: I am so thankful to these bookstores for their support of “My Journey Through War and Peace.” It would be wonderful if you could support them in return. Thank you!
Raven Bookstore Lawrence, KS http://www.ravenbookstore.com/
Blue Heron Books Uxbridge Ontario www.blueheronbooks.com
Tattered Cover Historic LoDo Denver CO http://www.tatteredcover.com/lower-downtown-store-historic-lodo
Booklink Bookstore Northampton MA http://www.booklinkbooks.com/
Buxton Village Books Buxton NC http://www.buxtonvillagebooks.com/
Charis: Books & More Atlanta GA http://www.charisbooksandmore.com/
RiverRun Bookstore Portsmouth NH http://www.riverrunbookstore.com/
Horizon Books Traverse City MI http://www.horizonbooks.com/
Collected Works Bookstore Santa Fe NM http://www.cwbookstore.com/
Snowbound Books Marquette MI http://www.snowboundbooks.com/