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Start and Stop (and Start)

As long as we've alive, nothing is ever over and infinite possibilities remain.

Dearest Doodle Soupsters,

There's been a lot of start and stop for me, in the past. Well, not really stop, but rather freeze. I filled up the beginnings of journals. I drew and collaged and painted non-stop and then freeze, stash the art away, right away. I danced non-stop and then freeze, run away from my dreams. I started blogs and then freeze, pretend like I never wrote those things, convince myself I had nothing to say, nothing to share, because if I did have something to say, then I would say ... and that would mean ... and again, stop, freeze, ignore the thought, stuff the realization down, turn around and don't look back.

It's easier to see the pattern now, looking back on the past from where I stand today, following years of running through each struggle trapped in the survival mode box and after years of moving toward healing. And that pattern?

Art, no matter the kind, is revealing. Making art, writing, dancing, singing, imagining your most soulful, precious dreams - these pursuits enable us to access the dimmest, most hidden areas of the psyche. As early as when I was a toddler in pre-school, I was driven to make art. When I learned to read and write, I was driven to write poetry and stories. As an adult, I've found old artworks, poems, fictional stories, journal entries - in them, my lost truths, my story, the reality of the abuse I had experienced, the dreams inside of me that had been beaten and bruised were all struggling to break free and be known.

The start and stop was a protective, trauma response, a defense mechanism. The start and stop kept happening because I wasn't ready to be in touch with what, stored deep inside of me, I already knew. This was especially true while I was still being abused by others, and I hadn't found a way out of the cycle yet.

Recently, I was watching TV with my boyfriend. We were watching The Flash, a show that constantly explores the reality of the "impossible." Barry Allen becomes the Flash, the fastest man alive, after being struck by lightning caused by a storm caused by a particle accelerator explosion. When Barry was a child, Barry Allen's mother was killed by a time-traveling speedster Reverse-Flash. His dad is wrongfully imprisoned because of course, no one will believe a little boy claiming a yellow lightning man was the real killer. Yes, The Flash is fictional. And yet, the show still demonstrates how many impossibilities can be real despite others' disbelief. There are plenty of little boys and girls who are not believed when they share what really happened to them. There are people who are wrongfully imprisoned. There is pain and grief that many of us know to be so devastatingly real while many others look the other way or struggle to really see and comprehend. And there are people who become successful artists, musicians, and writers after others tell them it's an impossible career choice, there are people who actually climb Mount Everest, and there are even people who create telescopes that can deliver pictures of the distant Universe.

Another character on the show, Iris West, started her own newspaper. My boyfriend asked me, like it was so natural and possible for me to do,"Why don't you create your own newspaper?" And in that moment, I paused. I almost shut the idea down and tried to change the subject. Instead, I said, "Wow, you're right ... I guess that's what I've been heading toward with my newsletter Chicken Doodle Soup."

In creating this online magazine, I am also facing my pain and my grief from my trauma and also the impact trauma has had on my life, on how I see myself, and on what feels possible to me. I used to believe I didn't have a future. I thought I'd be dead or too far gone before I'd get to this age. I'm only 26. That's how hard it was for me to imagine having a future, let alone a good one. This is what abuse does to many, many, many, too many people: abuse is poison to the body, mind, soul, imagination, the psyche. And yet, as long as we've alive, nothing is ever over, the poisoning can't be complete nor irreparable. The start and stop can be more like start and stop and start and start and start and start and stop and start and start and continue and continue and start and continue and pause and start and continue again.

I will still write these love letters sharing what comes out naturally at a given time. This website is and will continue to become a living, ever-evolving anthology of poetry, love letters, reported articles, interviews with artists, profiles, artwork, etc. This is me creating what I want to exist here in this world, something to connect lived experience, artwork, all kinds of artistic expression, current events, the psychology and spirituality of healing from trauma, a record of my own healing process and what I learn along the way. This is a place to be myself, explore my curiosity, encourage others to be themselves and follow their curiosity, guide others in rediscovering their forgotten dreams, engage with the world around me online and offline, and share what I'm learning with anyone who wants to follow along. I am restoring impossibilities back to their original and natural state: possibilities.

With courage and belief in myself and my future,

Nicole Sylvia Javorsky


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