Sunday, February 25, 2007

Are You Living?

If a biblical plague had struck my house this week, I would not have been surprised. To say it has been a rough one is an understatement, but I've learned a lot in the process.

Last weekend, my family lost our beloved grandfather. I've spent the week trying to offer support and a helping hand. Grieving for the man who wasn't related to me by blood, but treated me as a granddaughter, nonetheless. Trying to guide Drama Queen through her first real exposure to death. And just generally slogging through the daily grind despite no get-up-and-go.

Currently, I'm at home with two small, sick children. My husband is out-of-town. And I still feel like I'm living in a brain fog. Get the picture?

This afternoon, I once again fell into the stinkin' thinkin' that I was a lousy writer because I hadn't accomplished my goals this week. (I know, totally unreasonable, but there it is...) Then I remembered something that one of our wonderful Mavens said: "If you don't live, then the creative well will run dry."

What did I really do this week? Live. Deal. Find solutions, both practical and emotional. And each day those experiences were dumped into my creative well to feed the stories and characters in my mind.

How will I be able to portray a grieving woman if I don't know that we all react differently to grief? I tend to shut down, perform competently while feeling like I could sleep for 20 out of 24 hours. But I've seen other women in the family cope by moving constantly throughout the day, distracting themselves with meaningful and meaningless activity. How can I draw a picture of a woman who wants more than anything to make the hurt disappear for her child? A woman seeking to support the man she loves through his own grief and journey toward healing?

Writing, creating comes through living. The ups. The downs. The craziness life throws at us sometimes. We experience it by getting out from behind the computer and interacting with others, supporting others, arguing with others, and watching the world around us.

One day there will be a loveable grandfather in one of my stories. One who wears suspenders, quits smoking cold turkey after 50 years, insists on wearing old, ratty tennis shoes despite his wife's gripes, and teaches two daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren how a man of integrity really lives.



Rhonda said...

Sorry for your rough week, Angel, and doubly sorry on the loss of your grandfather. Hugs to you and yours.

Problem Child said...

See, when life gangs up on me, I whine and B*tch about it.

Angel on the other hand, is inspired and finds the good.

~~grumble, grumble~~

Angel said...

Well, writing my blog post last night, and a nice long talk on the phone with Instigator, I was able to write 2.5 pages for a short story I'm working on and make notations for the ending.

Unfortunately, Little Man is much worse today and I'll spend this morning trying to get him into the doctor, if I can get through on the phone (it might be quicker just to drive up there to make an appointment!).

To all you single parents out there, heaven bless you! This is no fun.


Kathy said...

When my DH was in the Army he was gone most of the time TDY. I had to deal with a lot on my own. I know what you're going through Angel. God bless! And God's peace.

You mention doubting the writing process. I've been going through the same thing lately. With no forward progress to add to my calendar tally, I'm quite frustrated. And lately, hardly motivated.


Playground Monitor said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. You have to take time to grieve or you get stuck and can't move forward.

And I know about handling the kids alone. My DH had to travel extensively for the first 14 years we were married and in many respects it was like being a single mom. At least I had a husband who came home on weekends and gave 100% while he was home.

If I thought I was a lousy writer every time I didn't meet my writing goals, that's all I'd think. I haven't met them in ages BUT I'm almost finished with a short story and hope to have it out the door by week's end.

Instigator said...

I think we can all understand the doubts...we all have them. But you've been through a tough time the last several days so cut yourself some slack! Not to mention that those doubts are completely unfounded!!

I'm glad I could help get you motiviated last night but you know, sometimes you just have to allow yourself a chance to be unmotivated. I think that's part of refilling the well, at least it is for me. The trick is not to let it go on forever. There is a fine line between allowing yourself a break and falling into bad habits. Unfortunately, I think I'm on the other side of that line at the moment. But that's ending today. I'm recommitting myself to this writing challenge.


Angel said...

Today and tomorrow are my days of the week when I get absolutely no writing done because of other things on the schedule. So today, when I was doing the dreaded bills, I watched a movie that was actually quite good. I enjoyed that and it did help me feel better.

I also watched 20 minutes of a really horrible movie before turning it off. That certainly did NOT fill my well. :)