BRAKING ONE OF MY RULES
I have had a rule for my blog that I don’t sell things here but today I am going to break that rule by announcing that my memoir, “An Ordinary Childhood,” is finally available on Amazon. This project was begun in the early 2000s with early drafts and scribblings. I abandoned it for quite a while but reclaimed it in 2015. And since that time, it has been redrafted and molded into its present form. The last three months have been engulfed with bringing it to this place of self-publication which brings a sense of closure. It is available at this link, www.amazon.com/s?k=an+ordinary+childhood+campbell&ref=nb_sb_noss.com.
The synopsis on the back-cover states:
This book explores the experience of growing up in the 1950s and 60s from birth through high school graduation in a quite ordinary family. There was no physical violence, drug addiction, divorce, infidelity, alcoholism, criminality or abandonment. I had the great blessing of growing up in a loving family which nevertheless had its share of pain, sorrow, loss and happiness. Each chapter invites the reader into an experience which inevitably leads to the meaning behind the event. Included in this are chapters on:
- An incarnation I did not want
- A neighborhood where the owners were just a bit closer to God than the renters
- A neighborhood fight
- Family secrets: the death of two sisters
- Empty space: getting my teeth kicked out
- A sixth-grade teacher who was not only brutal but also antisemitic.
- A mystical experience among the birch trees
- The first rock and roll generation
- Middle school bullying
- Boy scouts
- Becoming a zombie
- The nightmare of a first day in a new school
- The desire to punch out an English teacher
- Finally emerging into a sense of self
These are all explored with depth, appreciation and humor.
Since becoming semiretired several years ago, I have been passionate about reclaiming my creative side which is a part of myself that had been neglected throughout most of my life. Writing this blog has been part of that effort. Now, with more time, I have focused a great deal of energy on writing and photography as crucial creative pathways in this later stage of my life.
There are two ways that these activities support my personal and spiritual development. First, the spiritual path is about reclaiming neglected aspects of the self. In the past (see posting from 4/22/19 On Being Whole), I have written that wholeness includes accepting our foibles, weaknesses and insecurities. We can’t be whole until we include them. But wholeness also includes stretching who we are, reaching out to become more of our potential. That is what writing and photography due for me.
Second, these activities embody the passion of soulful experiences which are vital on any spiritual path. In another previous posting (see “The Soul’s Passion” 1/19/15) I describe the importance of passion and stress that passion is the most direct pathway to the soul. In my earlier adult life parenting was clearly a passion as grand-parenting is today. But now with fewer demands on my time this is where my passions emerge. It is in these activities that I feel most alive and closest to my soul.
Another way to speak of this is from the perspective outlined in the book Creating On Purpose by Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman. This very helpful book approaches creativity in the context of the chakras and their contribution to manifestation as well as ascension. Most discussions of chakras focus on the rising up of energy (kundalini) from the first chakra at the base of the spine to the seventh chakra at the crown of the skull. This is the path of ascension. In this book, however, the authors focus on the downward path of manifestation and the role each chakra has in the process of creation. They emphasize the role of the third chakra as the source of energies of the will. This chakra is about how we live in the world. In this chakra our will aligns with our intention and higher purposes originating in the seventh chakra. It is the chakra from which we produce results. In this sense it is the chakra of doing. The publishing of this book which reflects so much of my mode of being in the world throughout my life has also been an experience of manifesting, accomplishing and completing. The element of this chakra is fire which brings transformation to all things. The fire of the will brings vision into tangible form.
The manifestation of this book has been a very spiritual process for me at this time in my life. The mystical sense finds the presence of Spirit in all things; child rearing, work, washing the dishes, encountering animals in the wild, and engaging in true dialogue with another person. And in this project Spirit has stretched who I am and how I see myself and in particular how I see my past. This has not been my only project and there are other books to follow. A book on nature mysticism which I have also been working on will hopefully emerge in late fall. In these projects I am following my passion and stretching as I learn how to manifest in more complete fashion.