I think I may be ready. Or almost so. Ready to find my way back to the groove, into the fold of the 5 writers group. I haven’t done any writing other than my personal journal, and I have not even done much reading in those last months – a first since grade school. Events beyond my control have dominated my time and my ability to write. They have created havoc with my equilibrium since my last post in May and to some extent, many months before. In the face of a tragic event, the muse goes into hiding. She will stay there despite efforts to coax her back.
The good news is that Mother Nature, sneaky as she is, has a way of taking care of us. Once we reach a threshold of grief, when we think we just can’t face another day, along she comes and endows us with an unexpected strength to not only survive but move forward. Ever so slowly, in tiny increments, sometimes going backwards before we can move forward to the next phase. But the path is firmly set and we move on.
She does so with an assortment of tricks. Suddenly, after months when the world was awash in monotone gray, colours are starting to look more vibrant. The hue of trees and plants take on a deeper green, the ocean a deeper blue; children’s laughter suddenly sounds joyful rather than grating, and people seem to smile more. Or perhaps they are returning our smile. Food starts to taste like food again and we might even remember how to produce a good meal for friends. We might take up walking again, long walks, giving us the opportunity to take stock of our new life, to do some healing. Friendships deepen and new friendships develop. The world starts to look like a worthwhile place to hang around a bit longer.
But we have to do our part to help her out. Not all days are filled with optimism and renewed energy. Dark clouds do descend without warning when least expected. They will continue to appear, with myriads of large and small reminders from before our life changed. As time goes on, they are bound to recede and lose their strength, though there is no magic cure. It takes work, lots of hard and painful work, to clamber out of that deep cave. Sometimes we will slide back. There will always be that big hole in the heart that can’t be filled. But the strength and the will to succeed are there – the ‘joie de vivre’ and the capacity and desire to bring joy to others. In the end, we are still the same people we were before a tragic event nearly derailed us. We have the same likes, dislikes, passions, values and quirky personalities. And there is a bonus ahead if we stay the course: We become survivors. We will be stronger and have more resilience for whatever lies ahead.
So, chin up, folks. Eventually, the world will be whole again. We have no choice but to let it so. To quote from Haruki Murakami: ‘Everything passes. Nobody gets anything for keeps. And that’s how we’ve got to live.’
With that in mind, I am dipping my toes in the writing pond again. Wish me luck.