Wednesday, January 07, 2009


(great fireworks picture from here.)

In 2008, I watched the life of my dreams and the life of my days move further apart.

It didn't start out that way. In a burst of enthusiasm, I joined Jamie's first Circe's Circle group. I wanted to take myself seriously, to give myself the support I needed. I created a preliminary plan for my novel-in-progress, worked through Jamie's fabulous exercises. And I waited to catch fire.

Instead, I caught a serious case of cold feet. Everything felt uncertain. Was my idea worthy of being a novel? What did I really know about my characters? Did I want to devote myself to this?

While I dithered, my MIL grew gravely ill. TEG flew off to care for her.

I still attended all of my Circe's Circle calls, doggedly, but my nascent novel was abandoned. I was still looking for something, but now I wasn't quite sure what it was. The calls were my lifeline. I bribed Madam with the choicest snacks, the best DVDs, anything to keep her quiet while I was on the phone. I used the “mute” button a lot.

The calls were my connection to that life I was still sure I wanted; the life that now seemed further and further away. I watched as the other amazing women in my group caught fire.

Meanwhile, Madam and I spent a lot of time at home, as TEG's time with his mother lengthened, and winter dragged into...more winter.

I was afraid to admit how depressed I was. I didn't want TEG to worry. And I knew that I was all Madam had.

So I learned to face each day as its own entity, with its own pleasures and tasks. I couldn't see to the end of the month, but the end of the day? Somehow, that always came and brought its blessings (at least Madam would sleep; maybe TEG would call). And there was always YouTube.

My own writing slipped further out of my grasp. I couldn't even think like that. I couldn't access those words anymore. I regressed—watched a lot of television, grew addicted to a soap opera. I gave up.

Then TEG returned...and we packed up and moved in with my in laws for the summer. No writing. No thought. Lots of time at the playground as I tried to give a fun shape to Madam's days while TEG concentrated on his mother's therapy and health.

I suppose I could have blogged about this, but weirdly, I grew increasingly self-conscious about sounding unhappy and negative here. I watched my once-robust readership dwindle (the fact that I all-but-stopped updating and reading may have had something to with it too, but I couldn't quite make the connection). I wanted to preserve this blog as a place I could come back to, when I returned to myself, to my own mind.

Unfortunately, blogging and writing, like everything else, is a habit—a habit I lost in 2008. This only added to my profound sense of having become someone else-someone I didn't like very much.

Did I mention that TEG moved into a different, far more precarious job position?

So. Kind of a wild, down year, but one where I learned some of the most important lessons of my life. About how much I love my daughter, my husband, my family. About how anything can be endured with the help of good friends, and a determination to face one sunrise and one sunset at a time. I watched Madam blossom into a confident, joyous, dramatic preschooler with a penchant for storytelling. It all fills me with a gratitude that I almost can't bear. A gratitude I can hope I can learn to express, someday.

All the same, I want 2009 to be very different. I want to come back here full time, whether anyone reads me or not. I want to make the choice to practice my writing everyday, regardless of my life situation. I know I am starting again, but hopefully this year wasn't a complete waste. My words aren't back yet—the words that make me feel like a writer...but these words are. This moment is.

I won't denigrate that again.

PS: I've been dipping my toes into blogs again, and I am buzzing with the desire to post a Mondo Beyondo list. And I will...soon. :)

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Blogger Lisa said...

It's never a waste. I have missed you and I'm glad you're back. xo

11:30 PM, January 07, 2009  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I've missed you here - and am glad you're back. I read somewhere (don't remember where) that even in silence we still write. I'm sure you have stories to tell.

12:47 AM, January 08, 2009  
Blogger Jessie said...

I think that 2008 was definitely a year of learning. For many of us. I'm glad that you swam your way back here. ;) It is good to read your words, good to see your reflections, and good to see you making your way back to yourself. Life is a journey--that's for sure!

I'm looking forward to seeing your Mondyo-Beyondo list. Maybe over coffee this weekend?? :)

9:18 AM, January 08, 2009  
Blogger Melba said...

I have been thinking about you. yOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT. yOU ARE IMPORTANT.
I wish for a beautiful and passionate 2009...may you live beyond your dreams!
Love, melba

10:27 AM, January 08, 2009  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Still here, still listening. And also planning to write. Understanding.

6:29 PM, January 08, 2009  
Blogger Fran said...

I just tripped over your blog, and am somewhat of an intruder, this being the first time.

Just wanted to tell you that your beautiful words read like the first chapter of a very good, very touching novel. I want so much to know what happens next: what will the protagonist have to do to get of this? How can she deal with the family responsibilities?

I must know. But there's no page to turn.

That's the start of a good novel.

Journalling IS writing, and you should never forget that.

You're already writing, girl, but now you need your storyline, and, I guess, other characters.

7:40 PM, January 08, 2009  
Blogger Olivia said...

I just discovered your blog, and am thrilled to read about your journey. I can identify with much of the writing resistance you describe and more.

So thank you for the inspiration! I wanted to let you know that your readership has increased by 1---me! Thank you, Olivia

10:26 PM, January 11, 2009  
Blogger bella rum said...

I found you just as you stopped blogging. I kept checking in to see if you had picked it up again. Happy to see you here.

We always grow during difficult times. Trite but true. Welcome back.

9:43 AM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger Becca said...

I've missed your voice, and I'm so glad to see you that you've survived your momentous and somewhat troublesome year and come out stronger on the other side.

I'll be coming back to check on you :)

7:56 PM, January 24, 2009  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Which reminds me of another story. I'm pretty bad at spelling nowadays, but I think the Buddhist monk's name is Thich Nyat Hanh? Anyway, a man came to him, telling him that he really couldn't get into meditating because he had to care for his little one so much of the time. So the monk said, well, let me know when you've found the answer.

A few months later, the man came back all happy. Hanh asked, how did you figure this out? The man said, well, I kept on waiting for MY time to come up. I finally figured out that the time with my child WAS my time.

Heh heh heh. If he'd have been a woman, he might have figured that out a long time ago:-)

Anyway, you have such a gift. Please let me know when your book is out. I can't wait!


11:58 PM, July 26, 2009  
Anonymous mother of the bride suits said...

Like you blog, thank you for sharing!

5:20 AM, July 04, 2012  

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