I am writing this to my friend Diana Trautwein. You’re welcome to read along.
I HAD A STORY in me that I knew was mine to write, but I wasn’t writing it. I was writing other things. And finding success. And being asked to speak. So I just kept going with that.
It wasn’t yet time to write the story. I felt that in my gut. I trusted that when the time came, I would recognize it. Then the words stopped and maybe they weren’t coming back, and I hadn’t yet written the story.
A FEW MONTHS EARLIER, Ma had come to live near me. Not with me, but near me. Before that, she was several states away, living 35 miles from the nearest family member. She’d landed in the ER a couple of times, having called the emergency squad to come get her. Neither time was serious, but my sister and I felt it was time Ma lived closer to one of us. Ma agreed. We presented her with options and let her pick. She ended up coming to Ohio, where I then lived.
I thought, at the time, it was the best choice.
I think the same thing now.
If I had to do it all over again, knowing all I now know, I would still choose it.
Our schedules meshed nicely. I wrote before sun-up. She wasn’t mobile and ready to receive guests until 10 AM. So my writing day ended before I even saw her. It seemed a perfect match.
But daily exposure to Ma had an effect on me. It dug down into soil that hadn’t been turned in a very long time. Our conversations, our laughing, our shopping, our walks, her bouts with “the blues,” my need to prevent them and more. There it all was, just waiting to be unearthed, both the beauty and the brokenness.
That’s when the words dried up.
That’s when I lost my voice.
I still can’t believe how incredibly long it took me to see the connection. What was it, a year? Five years? Or was it just last week that it dawned on me?
I recently wrote a poem called “A Writing Life, Interrupted.” The poem stunk, but the writing of it did me some good.
And I liked the title. I think I’ll use it here. 🙂
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