Protagonist parting words: turning into a toad


A few days ago, I woke up and physically could not speak. My voice was replaced with a raspy rough whisper that sounded kinda like a croaking toad. I struggled, not with sneezing, congestion or other symptoms but only with the loss of my ability to talk.

This silent affliction reminded me that I physically have not been expressing or communicating much of what I really wanted to say this month. Most of my time was spent listening, absorbing and creating spaces for others to play, dream, pontificate, and emote. My ego tamed for only a short few weeks and my literal voice had nearly disappeared! What is that about? I am taking this physical ailment as a sign that I need to get back to the keyboard, back to the work of writing and translating my experiences in my shared writing not speaking.

For almost 8 months now I have been inside my head wandering through this personal growth experiment. The writing process, throughout has come relatively easily for me. Writing this February though was almost arduous. Every time I sat down to write I wanted to go back to the actual experiment of “being” rather than spending any time trying to define what the process felt like. Writing took me into the thinking and away from the sensing that I was getting so comfortable with.

My lack of focus on writing might also have something to do with the fact that I have been indulging in my beautiful surroundings. I’ve been allowing myself to be swept away by the sound of the wind and the water up here on the hilltop island hideaway.

Or possibly it is because I took this month’s mission too seriously. Diving deeply into the spaces and places of another makes it hard to resurface into my own reality, place and timeframe. Transforming into another being, breathing their air, walking their path and feeling their emotions is an intense experience. Like Max said it’s hard to hold on to yourself when you finally have let go fully. And like Max, I also have felt such warm and positive feelings for others during this process that I almost did not want to return to feeling completely separate and independent. I didn’t want to lose the oneness, warmth and understanding that came along with “being” another.

So my lesson learned this month is that we all breathe and absorb the same air and water above and below. We just create our own paths and react to the external environments differently when we are separate from one another. We compare, contrast, question, and challenge the differences in another way of thinking feeling and doing things. When we spend the time to try to understand or embrace the similarities we can move together at a similar pace. Most of us only attempt to do this with a romantic partner or a family member. It is not easy, so we often fail and fall back to our singular separate ways – breathing the way we understand, walking at the pace we are used to and making our own voices heard over others.

But while I am in this voiceless toad like state still, maybe I can learn something by tuning in to “being” an amphibian. Amphibians actually undergo the metamorphosis of becoming a different creature in their lifetime changing from the young larva water-breathing tadpole to an adult air-breathing toad must be quite an overwhelming process? But just think how amazing that transformation would feel losing your gills for lungs. Could we humans handle such change? Could opening up to such change and a whole other way of life benefit us? Or are we all still scared of the risk and the outcome of being turned into a toad? When I was a little girl, I believed that some toads were princes. We only needed to take the risk and kiss them to help the transformation. After this month, I am once again a believer and am willing to chance it and test out the transformation process. Anyone with me?


Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about. Check out the Chapter Summaries Page to get caught up to date.

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