“I’m tired of feeling sad,” I announced to Arthur this past weekend. “I just want to have more good days than bad days. It’s disconcerting. I mean, I’m doing all those things I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. But I’m still really not in a good place. When does the ‘at peace’ and ‘feeling better’ part of this whole thing start?”
Right now, the answer to that question always seems to be: “Maybe tomorrow?”
So I do what it is I usually do to try to figure life out, which is to sit down at the computer and start working on whatever piece of writing I’ve got in progress. Normally, I’ll write pretty disjointedly for awhile, then go back and cull out the few good sentences from several paragraphs or even pages of dreck, and start writing again. That’s typically when I get interested or inspired and words start to flow. Edit again and then I can move on to picking out the finer technical issues, such as my propensity for using way too many commas.
I should add, the above is what happens when the writing goes well. When it doesn’t, I’ve been known to close the document and start fresh. Sometimes I come back to my old drafts when I need inspiration, when a subject becomes relevant again, or when I’m ready to face a situation that was simply too much at the time. Sometimes they just wind up buried in my drafts folder for perpetuity.
Right now, writing, along with everything else in life, is not coming particularly easily to me. I’ve started at least six different drafts of completely separate posts, closed them, tried to pull out the good bits, and then deleted everything.
Until the other day when I started writing something entirely unrelated and instead found myself writing this:
I’ve had so many wishes and daydreams. My favorite was one that consisted of me sitting with a strawberry blonde toddler with childish wispy curls, in that sort of slightly sleepy state before bed with a board book of The Runaway Bunny. If you’re not familiar with the story, it begins with a baby bunny who announces his intention to run away from home to his mother. The little bunny says he’ll turn into various things, such as a boat. The mother bunny tells the little one that she’ll turn into a wind to blow him back in the direction of home, and so on and so forth.
I loved that book as a child because it always said: I love you so much I would do anything to bring you home safely. With everything Arthur and I have gone through to bring home a baby, it had a special resonance and the idea of reading it, with that child in my arms, was one of the best things I could imagine.
It was the book I bought when I found out I was pregnant the first time. I would pull it out and read it periodically throughout the pregnancy, hoping I could somehow bring this baby home, that I would transform myself into anything to do so. When I miscarried, I couldn’t look at the book. I couldn’t do what that mother bunny had done for her little rabbit. I could not turn myself into a wind or anything else to bring my baby home.
For weeks, I’ve been trying to write about how okay I am, how much I’m healing up because I’d rather deny the reality. Because I am desperately tired of being sad. But I’m nowhere close to that point.
In the end, this is why I write: it keeps me honest.
It helps me to get through yet another day of sadness, and even if peace and acceptance aren’t in the cards today, the writing helps me to see their shadowy outlines somewhere in the future.