For quite a number of days now, I have been getting little reminders. “You haven’t posted anything in X days…” or “Hey, we haven’t heard anything from you in a bit. Are you ok?” This is probably a testament to the fact that I had managed to post more or less weekly since the first of the year; and that there must be at least two people on the planet that read the mad ramblings of my brain. That all came to a rather screeching halt a little over two weeks ago. It was a cluster of events and emotions that ended up creating what might be called THE MOTHER OF ALL WRITERS’ BLOCKS. I literally have a half finished post that I started a couple of weeks ago, and I just felt it going nowhere and my heart just wasn’t in it.
That’s the problem with writer’s block, though. The words don’t come. Even when the words come, they don’t look right. Everything that appeared on the screen just sounded, in my head, like so much meaningless drivel. I know. You all are now saying, “So, how is this different that any of the general crappola that you type out?” Well… it just was. Nothing seemed worth the time and energy.
The problem was that I lost someone dear to me. She was too young and too vibrant for me to understand why someone like her is gone. In truth, all of this year… 2016… has seemed to be a great gaping hole of grieving and rage about loss. It seems astounding to me that the world continued to turn and people went on about their business when all I really wanted to do was stop. While people are watching the spectacle that is our political machine (honestly, it’s a circus I tell you… I may have to join my friend Tess for a big thing of popcorn), are fighting about bathrooms, and watching with feelings of impotence while more and more of civil liberty is trampled by laws that have blurred beyond recognition the original separation of church and state… I’ve been grieving and aching for a time when people seemed to be kinder and happier and able to take a joke. I have been thinking about the loss of talent and gifts of joy that we are now missing because of the people who have left this world just in a few short months. I have been avoiding writing because I was afraid the the voice screaming in my head in anger would flow out my fingertips and keyboard onto the screen in hurtful ways that would only add to the very phenomenon that was agonizing to me.
On top of it all I had surgery. Oh, nothing major, you understand, but as they say “surgery is surgery and there are always risks.” (Don’t you love it when they say things like that? They like to speak in ‘odds,’ too. Do they not know that I make it a personal goal to break curves?!? Seriously, don’t challenge me…) So, along with the demonstration of life being fleeting, I was also required to do the stuff they suggest when you have to have general anesthesia… I had to face my own mortality. That means thinking about what you want done when you are gone: Advance Directives, make sure finances are taken care of (sorta), put things where people can find them. It means talking to people you love and trust to carry out those wishes and then try to convince them that you aren’t “just being morbid” and are instead being responsible… and that you will be OK… that they shouldn’t worry. It’s just a worst case scenario. Except that for most of the people I love and trust… it wasn’t. We had just experienced that direct knowledge that tomorrow is not a guarantee. We suffered a loss that was too soon and shouldn’t have been. Suddenly, I was also a little afraid; afraid that I would somehow cause that pain to someone I loved.
As it turns out, all the responsibility stuff was, in fact, just a precaution. It was good to have it. I’ll hang on to the paperwork and file it, and update it just like I should. And I’m still here… Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing (not being morbid… believe it or not there are probably more than a few people that might wish me out of this world), I am here.
My words, it seems, are still a tad stuck. This is my attempt to get them back out. I’m one of those people who have to push through things. Not everyone is the same. Some people need time to recover. Just give them space and time, and eventually they come back out into the light. I can’t do that. I get stuck. I get stuck so hard that I have trouble finding my way back out. So, I have to push through. I have to force myself to exist in the light and ignore the shadows while they wait to reclaim me later when I least expect it. This is me pushing through. This is me sharing my process. It doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else’s process. If you actually do share this tendency, then, I’m here. I know the feeling, and eventually you push out to the other side. For now, I’m relying on positive posts from people I know and love. I drink in their non-judgmental, optimism like a man dying of thirst stumbling on an oasis. If you are one of those people with hope and optimism that you share, know that I appreciate you (and probably others do as well).
Because for now, I’m still a little blocked in, perhaps a little less than when I started, but still blocked… trying not to get stuck.