Writing and Discouragement

I love writing. It’s like talking to people, except I don’t have to find someone who has time to listen to me. Much easier. I enjoy being a blogger.

Last winter and spring, my writing path led me to join a community of writers for encouragement, support, direction, all that good stuff.  I had no clarity about what might be next.  I wasn’t sure being a personal blogger was the endpoint for me. It sounded like hope*writers could help me sort that out. I got pretty excited about moving ahead – enough that I made a commitment to attend a conference. I actually bought the ticket and made a hotel reservation months in advance. Did I do this just to make sure I would go?  Not consciously.

And then life happened. Summer took some unusual turns. For weeks my husband struggled with his diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. The anxieties and fears he battled had us moving from place to place. I didn’t stop blogging, but I did stop listening to the podcasts, doing the writing exercises, connecting with my support group. There wasn’t a lot of time for that and, honestly, I just lost heart. It’s been hard.

As summer faded off, I found I was having a lot of pain in my hands, especially the left thumb joint. Arthritis had been coming at me for a while, but now it was time to stop living with the pain and regain use of my hand. I had surgery a week ago and have at least six weeks of recovery, in a cast, before I can start therapy.

Back to the writing conference, which is now only two weeks away. The deadline for selling my ticket to someone else has passed. I’m now contemplating whether it is even possible for me to get to Charlotte, NC to attend. The expense of travel, my impaired condition, my husband’s need for help, all seem like hurdles, like roadblocks. Will it be worth the effort to make this happen? I don’t know. It’s not like me to throw away an expensive ticket for an event  I was once pretty excited about.

Believe it or not, i can still type with a few of these fingers.

So, my hand is starting to hurt again as I peck away with two fingers on my computer. I’m feeling a little teary, but I know I have to write in order to think things through. That’s what writing does for me, and that’s why I love to write. Does anyone out there understand this?

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As I continue on my path of becoming less of a nurse and more of a writer, I decided to attend a writer’s conference.  For me, writing takes  a lot of time.  Studying writing and learning about it takes even more time, which is why I don’t usually do much of it.  I know I should read more but life takes over.  I know I should read more but I fall asleep after about an hour of it (unless it is absolutely riveting).  I have a daughter who reads a lot and writes beautifully – she is the one who suggested I come to the conference, which she also will be attending.  I have a feeling that for three days we will be immersed in a world that is different from the one we normally inhabit.  I have asked myself, “how can I prepare for this?”   The voice in my head answered “By reading some of the books (untouched) on your shelf – stupid.”  My inner voice calls me stupid sometimes but I know it is said with affection and I don’t let it bother me.

I picked up a book this morning and read a poem that I liked.  I liked the way the author analyzed the poem too.  The book is “Praying through Poetry: Hope for Violent Times” by Peggy Rosenthal.  The poem is “The Translation of Raimundo Luz: My Imitation”

I sold my possessions, even the colorful pencils.

I gave all my  money to the dull. I gave my poverty

to the president. I became a child again, naked

and relatively innocent. I let the president have my guilt.

I found a virgin and asked her to be my mother.

She held me very sweetly.

I watched father build beautiful shapes with wood.

He too had a gentle way.

I made conversation in holy places with the chosen.

Their theater was grim.

I suggested they cheer up.  Many repented,

albeit elaborately.

I floated the wide river on a raft.

I set Jim free.

I revised every word.

One morning, very early, I was taken by brutes and beaten.

I was nailed to a cross so sturdy I thought

father himself might have shaped it.

I gestured for a cool drink and was mocked.

I took on the sins of the world and regretted my extravagance.

I gave up and died.  I descended into hell

and spoke briefly with the president.

I rose again, bloodless and feeling pretty good.

I forgave everything.  

-author, Scott Cairns