Excerpt From The Bluebird
Excerpt from The Bluebird (Memoir by Nicolle Lamb, still a work in progress)
I remember being about 11 years old the first time my mom asked me, “What should we do?”. Yes, eleven. That sits on me differently now since I have three children of my own and they have all seen their eleventh year. But even back then it was a profound moment. And I think it was instrumental in me realizing that life is made of choices. Because of that question I realized that my choices were not the same as the ones my mother was making. I remember telling her we could make it on our own. That we could leave and make a new life. That our life could be different. She didn’t make the choices that I offered, but the fact that I had an answer and it was different from hers shook something inside me. “Ah, life is made up of choices. And what we choose defines who we become and what we experience in life.” I think it was a gift to realize this so young. She gave me a superpower that day and didn’t even know it. It also gave me a freedom that I don’t think I would have realized any other way. It gave me the freedom to understand that those were her choices. And that they were not my choices. I didn’t have to make the same decisions. And I never had to carry around any guilt for her choices. I knew I would make different ones. I was determined to write a new song and make sure the melody of my life had different notes than my mother’s did. The music of my childhood had darkness and it was up to me not to bring those notes, that darkness, with me as I built my own life.
Little by little I began to hear new notes constructing a brand new song. I would close my eyes and let the music take me to a different place in my imagination. A new place that I’d never seen before. It’s a vision that is so different from anything that was around me. Something deep inside me knew I could make it mine. The sound of the old notes faded to the background and the new song started to fill the air around me. My hands swayed back and forth and danced as the melody overtook my body and led me in a new direction. The darkness was being replaced by beautiful rays from the sun. I closed my eyes to feel its rays. They were like soft kisses on my cheeks, nothing harsh, no pain, only healing. My body let the new melody deep into my heart and it began to replace all of the pain and mend all of the pieces it’s seen that it shouldn’t have. And I begin to only hear this new song. The old one faded to the background, moving out into the distance. There are little moments when I can faintly hear the old notes throughout my life, but the new melody always plays over them. There’s deep notes in this new song. Life always has deep notes. But there aren’t any of the dark ones that were in the original song. The new melody replaced all of those. It was rewritten. There’s no repetition of those notes. I made sure of that. That pain is gone. History doesn’t always have to repeat itself, Mama. This is a completely different tune altogether –I call it the Bluebird Song. And it’s a beautiful song with none of those notes because I had the power to rewrite it.