A few weeks later, one of my former students posed a question on his Facebook page that caught at my heart a little. The question was: is it more difficult to be a writer, or to be a writer who is not writing? I replied that being a writer who was not writing was awful, and Toby asked me to clarify. It took me a while to reply, and when I did, I did so carefully. My reply was this:
Hey Toby - so I set this in my "tell Toby the truth" file, and am just now back here.
Yes - it is awful. It is always awful to be living in a way that does not align with your true self. I know that much of life is adjusting to what we cannot have, living happily in spite of that. But failing to do that which feeds your soul will break your heart in the thousand small ways that are hardest to repair.
So we have to find a way to balance the life-list of musts (pay the bills, etc) with the heart-list of musts (love, find things to marvel at in the world...and write).
So says the writer who is trying like hell to do just exactly that.
As with all things, babysteps. My blog entries are an indication of my engagement with language and words - when they halt it is nearly certain I have stopped writing altogether. So. Apparently I am back to the keyboard with some intention. And a lot of current material. Ahem.
I'm taking a mindfulness meditation course at the Y led by a woman from the Cancer Treatment Center. She repeats this sentence often, "Don't pull away but always go forward, toward the feelings and experiences you are tempted to avoid--and live fully." Difficult advice these days, but necessary.
Face a fear, embrace something you love and be gentle with yourself.