Monday, August 6, 2007

Writing

I visited my old blog tonight to find it riddled with fake comments that advertisers often plant, filled with links to male enhancement and financial scams. It felt like visiting a house where I once lived, only to find the roof caving in and graffiti on the walls. It doesn't matter.

It reminded me of how I started to write and why. It was six days after he died, and I did it to stay sane, because sorrow under pressure is the door to a dark room. Sometimes I don't like to remember. Sometimes I do, and it nestles around me, a familiar, brooding dysphoria, a plucking at the tearducts, predictable and therefore harmless. I have been here before; it makes me write. It would be better, healthier, to sleep, but I know that I won't. This, too, is familiar.

I once believed that grief for a person goes away. It does not. It lives while I live, self-regenerative, like skin, but peeling and aging in its incessant evolution. A random wound finds it there, not so easily disturbed, but as torrid and tender.

I will attend my first class at Hopkins on September 4. That might account for all of this, by which I mean, all the self-vexing cross-examination I have been doing about writing. The prospect of a writer's life, the criticism, rejection, and uncertainty, takes soundings of my deepest fears. I have also wondered whether it's the best use of time. How do I love my neighbor, living such a solitary, cerebral existence? It might be worth it if I could write like Lewis. The Problem of Pain is the one honest book I have ever read about grief, and it was like the wordless embrace of an intimate friend. But if I can't? If I fumble around in the dark for a while, making manuscripts that never slide into anyone's hand? What then? It feels as though there would be nothing left.

That is why is I sometimes like to remember, with bewildered gratitude, that even if I am or were awful at it, writing is my imperative. (Do I, can I believe that?) Where it leads is less of my concern.

I did not remember until just now that today is my birthday.

6 comments:

Amy said...

I don't read blogs, but I love yours, everytime I read your work ,I feel more like myself. Your writing is wonderfully honest, vournerable and tender. It is such a quiet pleasure to sit and savor your words and laugh and cry. Happy Birthday to you.

Roland said...

happy birthday!!! What Amy said is so true, you are amazingly honest and vulnerable. And you're stinking good at writing. Trust in the fact that if God wants you to write, you truly don't need to worry where it takes you.

Roland

P.S. I've been reading Hind's feet on High Places(who would've thought it was such an easy read?) it is beautiful and reminds me of you.

Anonymous said...

You write because you must. It is not a choice, but a calling.

Amy said...

You wrote, ' How do I love my neighbor, living such a solitary, cerebral existence? '. Your words are a balm on the soul of a 37 year old single mom from Minneapolis, who often times feels shredded and alone. That's how you have loved me, your neighbor, from half way accross the country. Your writing is a treasure, and I fear that when September 4 rolls around, your blog will become covered in dust and cobwebs...

A Rose said...

Thanks, Amy! No cobwebs, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Alas, others are discovering what I have always known...that your gift for words and your willingness to be vulnerable and attentive to the loneliness of a tender heart connect you with others who have similar feelings but never found the words to express them. It is a gift of love you give to others, of yourself and from yourself. And all of our lives are enriched by it.