Monday, September 20, 2010

When a writer has no words...

Ramblings Post #136
Words. Sometimes all I have is words. Sometimes when I've got an opportunity, in the moment, when I missed my chance to act, sometimes all I've got are words. They can be eloquent and soothing, or cold and terrifying. Words more than anything show who we are, by our use of them, or lack thereof, by the way we hold them, read them, discard them. Words are. So what happens when you have no words?

Sometimes, I'm at a loss.

The first anniversary since Sporty lost her grandfather, a man she with whom she was very close, just went by. It promised to be an emotional day for her. She said she'd keep busy and asked for me to pray for her. I did.

You ever just want to hold someone until their pain goes away?

When you're half a country away, that's kinda hard. So, because sometimes all you have is words, I thought I would throw to together a short story, something with elements of fantasy with a theme of the love of family being eternal and dragons and all matter of foolishness. Something to read and take your mind away from it all for minute, but still give you a good feeling about family, only personalized. And just when I began thinking how I wanted to lay the whole thing out.... each page a chapter, five or so chapters, character creation, etc.... then I remembered I had a midterm to study for! And in my mind this was turning into a multi-hour project that might take all night.

So maybe installments? But that would still be writing and editing in one hour chunks all day.

Okay, I got realistic. I couldn't write an epic in a night and still get in my exam prep and class reading. Maybe words of comfort, so I started looking through the bible trying to find the right verses, figuring if I could find enough I would send them every few hours as encouragement. So I went to sleep, a few passages ready for the morning.

That morning I did my reading, and some clean up and then hit myself with a new question. What if she's coping well, and my words just muddy the waters? Well that would have been fine and dandy, now wouldn't it. Nothing worse than good intentions.

So I spent the day reading for class, working out my outlines and notes for upcoming classes, sneaking in football scores, making personal flashcards, going through previous classes power points and debating if I should or should not contact her. I didn't want to derail the coping train (she's a strong girl), but then I didn't want to call up and find out I should have spent the night writing, because I didn't have enough to send (she can be fragile too). There I was: thoughtful but helpless, clueless, and busy with my own shit.

In the end, I did nothing...and I feel like I abandoned her. But I don't do death well.

She asked me to pray for her and I did. I didn't want to intrude on a what is a highly personal moment. So why do I feel so bad?

Barkeep, a time machine and cold glass of water. Set it to 1975...


Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

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