This book simmered in my consciousness for almost 24 years. It morphed from a tiny seedling to become a living, growing project that filled my spare moments and harnessed my focus in a positive way. The initial feeling I had for the children I encountered struck me hard. They seemed like the forgotten ones in the whole addiction and recovery model. I felt impelled to try to help. That feeling has not diminished.
My first story was actually the one about Jonathan, the goldfish. When I finished, I realized it sounded a lot like step 4. Jonathan has to accomplish a difficult task. He had to let his uncomfortable and scary feelings take a back seat to doing something that he somehow sensed was for his greater good.
How often have we all had this experience? Alcoholic or not, addict or not. There was a thread of universal truth here that made me realize something important: the truth is simple. If it can not be simplified, it’s probably not the truth. At least not for you at the time. I then wrote the following story which corresponded with Step 5. What to do became crystallized. But how to do it would take much personal inner work and more life experiences.
Struggling for the right words and the right message is every author’s angst. I, however, had never considered myself capable of such an endeavor. Somehow holding a finished product in my hands falls into the ‘indescribable feeling’ category for me.
So, only recently have I embraced the title of author. And I do so with a deep reverence to not only the profession, but the calling. I do believe for me I had to complete this project. I believe Robert Louis Stevenson speaks of what I mean when he says,“A true writer is someone the gods have called to the task.”
Over the years, I picked up and put down this project more times that I can say. I have written and re-written ever word of these stories more times that even I could imaginable. They have done my soul good. I vacillated between equal parts of “This can be done.” and “These concepts are too hard to explain on a child’s level” to “Who better to do this work?” and “Why not me?” So whenever I put the project down, it kept calling me back. I knew the benefits could be significant.
I offer them up for your blessing. I pray as you read these stories you walk the fine line of child-like simplicity and the complexity of adult transformation. I hope you explore the depth of meaning I intended.
But most of all, enjoy!