In 1993 I was at my father’s house, recovering from a 5-day hospital stay and a complete hysterectomy. Since I was napping several times a day, every time I closed my eyes poetry verses kept pouring right out of my head. It was as if a portal to my creative imagination had been opened up, once again. I’d close my eyes and yet another line would come to me, and another, and another. I had to keep writing them down, and I wasn’t getting much sleep.
As a young child I had been a prolific poetry writer but that portal had been closed at age 17, twenty-one years earlier, when I wrote a poem in memory of my best friend who had been tragically killed in a terrible accident. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to stop writing; it just happened. I no longer found the urge to write about anything.
But that all changed with my hysterectomy. As anyone who has had a hysterectomy knows, needing that kind of surgery is as though “something” has died within you. Maybe it’s the finality of the ending of one’s reproductive years, or possibly it’s a less than positive milestone in the aging process. Either way, it’s a situation which also requires a period of mourning… and a period of adjusting to altered hormone levels!
So one death closed the portal and thankfully another “death” opened it again. For the next few weeks, I added to the first several verses and wrote new ones, and I also sketched a few of the preliminary illustrations. Since I was never able to bear my own biological children, writing a children’s bedtime story became a sort of healing process for me.
For the next 9 years, the whole project sat on the “back burner” while I pursued my jewelry business, while we raised our two adopted kids, moved internationally three more times and while I was distracted by other facets of life. Then in 2004 we moved from Australia to Thailand, where I could no longer work as a jeweler. As a foreigner, I was not allowed to “take a job away from a Thai national”, and I couldn’t compete with their inexpensive prices anyway. My “little voice in my head” (or my women’s intuition, or my guardian angel… or whatever you want to call it) said “Work on your book now! You have PLENTY of time.” So that is what I did. I tweaked the verses, wrote new ones, began painting some of the finished illustrations, and began looking for a publisher.
That brings us up to the present time. It’s been a LONG process and a continuing labor of love, and coincidently, that also describes life in general, doesn’t it? My creative “portal” has continued in the open setting, and I’m looking forward to bringing to light my next project. I hope it also receives the same warm reception and excellent reviews that Moonbeam Dreams has received.
Gina C. Browning is a creative, independent thinking, married mother of 2 adopted children and has been living her dreams for as long as she can remember. She is from Texas, but due to her husband’s job, moved to Australia with her husband and 17 month old son, Ryan, in 1989. Since then, they have moved internationally (because of her husband’s work) 4 more times, with a few domestic moves thrown in for good measure. In 1997 she and her husband adopted their daughter, Raechel, from China.
Having graduated from North Texas State University in 1979, with a BFA in “Metal craft and Jewellery”, Gina has been a professional jewellery designer/maker for the better part of 30+ years, and has written poetry, on the side, since she was a child. She is currently living in Australia (for the 3rd time), with her husband and daughter, where her dreams continue to inspire creativity. Her son, now 21 years old, no longer lives at home.
Gina’s book, Moonbeam Dreams, can be found at: http://www.eloquentbooks.com/MoonbeamDreams.html