Tea Break Read
A serialised short story
By Allan Hunter
Three Years Later
I’ve kept this diary for a couple of years since I stopped writing, right at the end of the semester. I kept the file on my laptop, and I transferred it to the new laptop, too. I haven’t had to do much more writing like this, and looking at it now I’m not sure why I stopped. I think I just got to a place where I’d moved through all that old stuff. I mean, my dad’s still a problem and my mum’s still being treated for her cancer, and I’ve graduated. So I guess this was what I needed to do right then, at that time, and when I’d done it I didn’t need to do it anymore. I mean, I still write stuff out when I’m upset or confused, and that seems to help, but I’m not doing it regularly.
I probably don’t go as deep, either. Sometimes I surprise myself, though.
I think what happened was I wrote my way to a place of peace and freedom. The stuff is still there, but it doesn’t wig me out the same way it used to. Perhaps that’d have happened anyway as I got a bit older. I don’t know.
That’s probably why I sometimes go back to the exercises and do them again. And sometimes I get results that surprise me, even though I know what’s happening and what’s going to happen. And I kept the text books for this course, too. Most courses I sell back to the bookstore after the first few weeks of class because I know I won’t need them. But I kept these.
A couple of times I’ve done the exercises with friends and that usually brings up some important stuff, too.
I don’t know what happened, but I’m glad it did. Malcolm left teaching about the time I graduated and I suppose I should have kept in contact with him. But perhaps not. He was what I needed then, and once he’d helped me over the mountain I didn’t need him any more.
I’m studying for my Master’s in Psychology. I volunteer at a women’s shelter doing some counseling. I’ve got a good gig waitressing a couple of nights a week to pay the bills. I’m making my life.
He is a full professor of Literature at Curry College, a counselor, and his doctoral degree in literature is from Oxford University. British by birth, he traveled extensively in Europe, India, Africa, and India before settling in Boston, Massachusetts.
Three of his books seek to show readers how to use writing as a therapeutic and life-enhancing tool. They are all based in workshops he has taught for over thirty years (The Sanity Manual, Life Passages, and Write Your Memoir). In each case the emphasis is on using writing and story to reach a place a deeper understanding and peace. His other books have explored the way six specific archetypes recur in the 3000 years of the western world’s great literature; Stories We Need to Know, The Six Archetypes of Love, and Princes, Frogs and Ugly Sisters: The Grimm Brothers’ Healing Tales. He concludes that these archetypes are ways for us to contact the deep structures of the psyche.
His tenth book, The Path of Synchronicity, asks us to consider what it is the universe seems to nudge us to do, rather than what we think will make us famous or wealthy. As such times we move into the flow of synchronicity.
He followed this with Spiritual Hunger in which he asks us to consider how we can feed our inner need for relevance in a mass culture, and how we can choose healthy possibilities rather than those sold to us by large corporations.
His most recent work is Gratitude and Beyond – an exploration of how gratitude is just the beginning to the journey of self-discovery. Following a brush with death I describe how I learned, the hard way, lessons I needed to know so that I could live more harmoniously in the world.