SOFIA SANCHEZ +WRITING BOWLS OF SOUL
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I also knew it was my fate to put words on paper and bare my soul.
What I didn’t know was that I would meet a little girl, who would change my soul more then I could imagine.
Here is Sofia Sanchez looking at the sea. She is looking for soul, and while she does in this picture, we can see hers.
Many people might look at this picture and think that they have nothing in common with Sofia. She is a child. She happens to have Down syndrome. So most people are different then she is. And I am different then they are.
Sofia is different then you, dear reader, and so we can come to the conclusion that since we are all different? Well, then diversity is the one thing we all have in common.
What else do we have in common?
We love. We learn. We cry. We laugh. We wish. We want.
We are jealous. Different circumstances bring us suffering. Different experiences make us close off from love.
But we always face the road, the choice to love.
The choice to give, to share, to create.
We have the choice to reach out and make a bridge.
As a writer, I find myself sometimes afraid.
Should I admit to you that I get afraid to dream, scared to try, worried about tomorrow?
I admit it. Life is big and messy and hard to figure out.
We all have loss. Abandonment.
But we can be strong like the statue up there! Like Sofia shows us in her way she tackles the world.
But can we really? How do you do it?
When that happens to me, as a writer, the ink between page and my mind is broken. I shatter like metal beads broke from a strand of bracelet. I tumble across the floor and feel the wind of the emotional door blow my hair into a mess. I am disarrayed. I am displayed as a normal person. I am not letting go. I am not letting in. I am not surrendering to the power of soul.
A bowl of soul. That is what I need. I want the chimes to ring, and the spices to be just right in the air. Let me count could-be reasons for my silence. Well, I should probably buy new shoes and that would break open the writer’s block. I could certainly build a story if I could just go to the spa. Why, if I would be able to go on vacation, I would be able to find a key to my spirit of creativity.
So I pick up the bowl with both hands. I bring it to my face. I see the reflection in the bowl. It is a girl with blue eyes and lines on her face from living fifty years and three days long in the world.
In the bowl, are all the loves and losses and dreams and wants and bridges burned and built. In the bowl, are all the energy of everyone I love and everyone who has slipped away to the other side.
I need the bowl. The universal human condition spills over the rim, and very fast, it drips out and pours all over everywhere. And there is no running away, no where to hide. And as the bowl spills all over my shirt, and I drink up what is manageable to swallow without choking on the truth, the darkness shreds to splintered light.
I am in motion. My fingers fly on the keyboard and new bridges are born across peaceful seas and all the troubled water. I write. I find things to say. I hear myself channeling into the portal where things are told to me that I am not making up myself.
Playing in the bowl of soul? Why, it untraps you. It makes you believe in the space where you are because as you write it down, you give voice that it is so.
It’s almost like you have the clutch gene. You are working under pressure. You are in it to win it. And when other people straddle the midline, and hesitate and the clock ticks their talking-tock away. . .you score, and the only way you did it was to paint what you had inside, on to the paper with your words, and with the window you built to your heart, to create your bowl of soul.
And I look at the beautiful little girl who is looking at the sea. And I see her finding soul in the world. And I see the camera finds it.
She gives all the soul she has to bridge, to reach, to create love in the world, all while she started life as an orphan and belonging to none.
I love you, Sofia! You choose joy. I choose to follow you.
I choose joy.
I choose to celebrate that diversity is what we all have in common, and that everyone is beautiful, just like the book you inspired us to write together, BE YOU TIFUL LOVE SOFIA.
Happy Down syndrome Awareness Day to everyone who is the Lucky Few, and to all who love them. And may we all remember to reach, to bridge, and then?
Why? . . . . we ALL will be lucky indeed.