Lately I have been living through an experience that many have lived through before me; the decline of a beloved parent. I’ve been so occupied with this and with proving to an array of institutions that I can handle his finances in a faithful and trustworthy way, that I haven’t had much time to really think beyond my tears and my nerves much less write. Dad had a really good day yesterday. First one in ten days. This morning I woke up after a thankfully, and desperately needed, good night’s sleep to my mind having a moment of relative peace. I picked up my toothbrush to brush my teeth and found somehow that I looked into an inner mirror at myself and all these wonderful published writers that I admire and envy; their thoughts on writing and what made it work for them, and there I was. All that I am and am not. I am not famous. I do not live to write. I write to live. But I am not a work-a-holic. I am not really above average in any stretch of an imagination. I just love to write.
Between the marketing, the worrying, the not being perfect, the social networking, the trying to write in an “interesting” way, I got lost. Not lost out in the world. Lost in myself and my worries. I lost the love of the story. I lost the joy of finding a new piece to the puzzle of my story. I lost the love of putting words on paper and not worrying how good or bad or boring they are to anyone but me. I lost writing for myself and my peace of mind.
I love puzzles of many different kinds, mysteries, Sudoku, word searches, crossword; the human psyche. Part of what I love about writing is the puzzle of it, just like life, really. How do I get from point A to point B and then C? How do I complete the puzzle that is me? The fear of the unknown, of what comes after life is present right now when I look in my father’s eyes and see his need to be reassured and loved. What a massive puzzle that one is, the great unsolvable one, death and what comes next, if anything.
My dad asked me if I believed in God. I told him yes, I believe in Spirit. I don’t know if I believe in a man-like figure sitting up on a great throne somewhere in the sky, but I believe in Spirit and our connection to it and our world/universe. I don’t know if I helped him with my answer in any way, but he seemed satisfied for the moment.
Life is what I have now. Writing is what helps keep me “me.” I am blessed I can write. I am blessed to be here with my father in this time of his life and mine. I am blessed by the many challenges and joys life is offering to me right now. I will do my best to live up to all of these blessings. I am tired of my fear of failure. No one said this path of words would be smooth and straight with no uphill grades. After all, I am alive; I have written five novels so far. I guess it’s time to forget what I might or not leave behind me when my turn comes to go. I guess all I need to do is live, and write. What comes next, well, that’s the next piece of the puzzle to find, isn’t it?