This past month my family lost people important to us. That made me think as those things will do. When I thought I created a post about things that are more important than writing. The thing about writing and life is that writing can pause. You can stop to think, make changes. You can even go back and change what is not working. Life... Well we all know life has its own schedule to keep.
Writing is a poor imitation of life but it is the best one I have. It is what I always turn to--words can be rosary beads for a troubled mind. The sad thing is that writing to set aside the world is rarely good writing, at least for me. So I've been writing and rewriting and changing and wondering about so many things. Some questions are unanswerable by even the best stories.
I'm not a Why Me? person. Things happen. I deal. People that know me know about the infection that got into my brain and changed my life. There is always pain and sometimes worse things. We all have hurdles to get our asses over and that's the thing today. Sometimes, when getting ourselves over we lose sight of the other people and their hurdles.
I write because I have always done it, needed it in some way. More than that, for a long time I made a good living writing scripts for everything you could imagine. That was when I realized that what I was writing was important to some deeper part of me. I had to write MORE. Not quantity but something, more. I wanted to tell the stories that boiled in my brain late at night or that took up a long, silent car ride. MORE. I wanted to write so the people in my life would be proud. I want to write to touch in some way other people.
Writing is both one of my joys and one of my hurdles. I have to do it. It connects me to other people in a way that nothing else will for me. BUT. But I have to be careful that the very connection I seek does not become an insulator.
Things more important than writing--those are the people for whom I write. Family, friends, readers I may never meet. In the last few days I have become aware of a hole in things. A blind spot like the gap between your mirror's view and the turn of your head while driving. There are places through which we cannot write. Broken hurdles we may get over but leave a bit of blood for our passing. One of the people lost last month was a wonderful man but he had a long life full of the things long lives are full of. He is missed but his passing was more natural than tragic. Since then though, his granddaughter, my great niece, took her own life.
I had been close to her when she was a child then the blind spot crept in. She made her own life and choices. She tackled her own hurdles while I tackled mine. I was unaware that she was having troubles. Not completely unaware, more just unaware of the height of her hurdles. I don't flatter myself to imagine that I could have saved her from the darkness at the end of the race. Only that I could have worked harder to see into the blind spot. Maybe I could have lowered one hurdle for one person I care about. Maybe that is as much fantasy as some of the stories I write but it is a thought every bit as important to me as anything I might ever write.
So, while I haven't been writing as hard as I might like lately I console myself with the knowledge that my time right now is being spent trying to lower some hurdles for some other people. I will be back in town soon and back to my routine but I'll be a little more careful about blind spots.