Friday, June 22, 2012

Writing and Not Writing

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?

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  1. Very deep thoughts, and I agree with them. Right now is the time for living. No matter how we might puzzle, we'll never be sure of what's to come whether we believe something or not. You;re one of the lucky ones to be with your father at this stage in his life. I wish I could have my last moments again with my parents. Just do what you know is right and breath easy.

  2. yes, live and write.. enjoy the moments, and the process... of everything. nice piece.

  3. It is at times like these that we re evaluate our lives and try to make sense of them. Sounds like you are working your way through that process and will come out the other side a stronger person...thanks for writing the blog.

  4. I know you wrote this a few weeks back, but I wanted to leave you a comment anyhow. Sorry you are watching your father decline, but I guess if there is a positive spin, as you suggest, you are at least able to spend this time with him. My Mom passed away in 2002 from a brain tumor at 60 years old. We had about seven months from the time she was diagnosed until she died. That doesn't sound like much time, but we were happy to have it as it didn't take us long to figure out that she would not survive the cancer. She knew it, we knew it, and we all made the best of the situation and spent as much valuable time together as possible. I have to admit, her death still affects me today and it changed me in ways that I still don't think I understand, even 10 years later. Interestingly she said at one point to a close friend that inquired, that she felt she would come back as a hummingbird. Now, I am not a believer in God, I've discussed this on my blog, but I can't tell you the number of times that hummingbirds have hovered nearby, or outside a window I was sitting at. Granted, hummingbirds are everywhere but it makes you think! The world works in mysterious ways as they say. All I can offer as someone who has gone through this, is try to find peace with where your Dad is at... (sounds like you have) and write, write, write when you feel it and when you don't feel it don't beat yourself up. :-)


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