What do I write?
I write about the search for, and discovery of, truth. The truth we know when we’re young, but are too young to know we know it. The truth we avoid as we age, yet search a lifetime to claim. What I write is as vital to my mind as air to my body.
I ruminate with non-fiction blog posts, stories, memoir, and occasional poems. With intimate familiarity I write about what is real; chaos, drama and emotional upheaval as experienced through my parents’ divorce, neglect and abandonment. My resulting behaviors and correlating divorces spurned similar chaos on my children; if I don’t write about ghoulish shadows creeping with guilt and remorse I’ll end up blowing bubbles behind a steel grid window on the 7th floor of a hospital.
I weave hurt and pain with love and loss; lost loves, the loss of hope, and innocence lost. I write about Frances, my childhood friend and significant muse; she’s primary inspiration for my biographical memoir blog, A Life in the Years of her Mind. I write as I live, with joie-de-vivre and drive, mingling sadness and middle-age anxiety with humor and gratitude. I take and give credit for the truly great life I have—health, independence, and self-respect—and for who and what I have in it—marriage, family, friends, and home.
I piss and moan and laugh and cry. Holding little back, I respond to what comes at me. One moment I applaud, another condemn; both are warranted.
Lately I’m flat-out overwhelmed. The past 3 years I’ve had dueling front row seats to life’s nitty-gritty anguish and buoyant joy. Rampant cancer and ensuing death took astounding toll while simultaneous rebirth revitalized despair—my youngest son’s melanoma is stable and my mother’s ovarian cancer temporarily remits, but pancreatic cancer snatched my father and step-mother with agonizing cruelty. Through all that, my son and daughter each birthed perfect babies, and hubby and I rediscovered magic through unwavering trust.
My father and step-mom suffered unbearably, and the tragedy continues; all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put surviving family together again. My two brothers, a sister-in-law and I cannot overcome estate bullshit, and they all largely ignore our surviving 103 year-old grandmother. Their selfishness shocks my soul while her escalating dementia despairs my heart.
Yet those newborn babies’ innocence builds hope while hubby surrounds and surprises me with boundless support and pure love. I’m fed up with grim grief but my cup runneth over in grand-parenting joy and marital contentment.
My coping skills frazzle and fray like burnt-out wire; duality wins. I hurl drunken sailor debauchery at death but shine pride’s gleam at dimpled toddlers and loyal partner; I smoke with careless abandon but eat an organic diet; I journal glee and keystroke anger. Internal dialogue chatters in raucous cacophony, pleading, “what the hell am I saying, am I content and happy or pissed and disillusioned—what’s the veracity of it all ?@&%#!”
Sigh . . . there’s a lot of realism jumbled with crappy chatter. Last year my therapist asked with hesitant expression, “Aren’t you exhausted with all that ruminating?”
Yes, I am. But I won’t stop. No matter the digression, writing from the gut of truth is what keeps me breathing.