I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Monday, March 30, 2015

Writing Rx


What does it mean, this writing thing? Why is it so important to us, so ingrained in our lives and so necessary?

This weekend was very scary. The frightening medical landscape of the last few days has taken me to mental and emotional places I have never been before.

The baby, our 14 month old granddaughter was hospitalized.

It didn’t matter that she was in one of the best hospitals in the world, (Yale), it didn’t matter that we were told what she had was fixable, all that wound around my head and heart was the constriction of fear. Something horrible was happening to the most innocent and lovable member of our family. To experience pain, uncomfortable tests and being taken to an unfamiliar place set to help you, without being able to intellectualize the necessity of it all, is what played over and over on my mind. I just wanted it all to go away, for her, and for me.

I couldn’t sleep, I cried and cried, and when at work all I thought about was her. Every word, every deed, every interaction with clients, friends and family was preambled and postscript by worry. We visited her, saw she was going to be okay, but it wasn’t enough. All I wanted was for her to be totally and unequivocally better.

She is coming home today and the breath I have been holding will not be expelled until I hold her in my arms, in her home or mine. 

So it is, that now the importance of writing, as panacea, has bubbled to the top of the caldron which has been steaming on the main-burner and threatening to boil over.

The words we summon, the ideas we unearth, erase and let rise again, the communicative ranges we traverse are all there to sooth that which smolders within all of us. If life is the journey, and health is the ticket, than writing is the conductor punching the ticket to all the destinations along the way. Non-fiction is the bare-bone of reality, fiction is the escape to catch breath.

I don’t think I could have come this far in life without writing. In fact I know I would not have. The joys of childhood, marriage, raising children, watching them walk away and back again with children of their own, the pain and fear of indecision, confusion and loss, all seems to melt away when warmed by the rays of pen and paper in hand. Writing is a powerful prescription when the world begins to dissolve. Even when scribbled by an all-powerful hand, writing helps and God-willing, cures.
 
When has writing last soothed you?

UPDATE:
It's April, she's home healthy and the little pistol she was. Thanks all for your heart felt sentiments, and for you folks dropping by via QOTKU, welcome.

26 comments:

  1. I'm glad things seems to be better for your precious granddaughter, 2Ns. I hope you get to hold her soon at let go that long-held breath.

    I don't know about soothed, but I much prefer writing as a medium of communication for the fact that affords me a necessary stop-gap between reaction and reflection. When I speak, I'm prone to knee-jerk, and say things that are either ill-informed or ill-considered (or both). When I have to commit those thoughts to paper (or screen), I have to think about the words I'm saying. In proof-reading I have the opportunity to shave the edges off harsh words, or sharpen them if necessary. Usually what goes out in written form is a more considered, much more articulate, and generally more eirenical version of whatever might have come out of my mouth.

    In that sense, writing saves me, and has probably saved a number of friendships. :)

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    1. Yes, editing certainly can round the sharp edges, but what I've found is if I'm in a rant mood I sure can get myself in trouble. Sometimes it's life-changing. I am prone to my knee-jerk hitting the send key way too soon.

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  2. It's sort of weird b/c it's not about it being soothed for me, but more I don't write, I feel like a cat would having it's fur rubbed the wrong way. Irritated. I'd think, "Damn it all! I didn't GET to write today!"

    ***Key word = GET

    It's a privilege to try and do something with words and to hopefully make someone else laugh, cry or think, "yeah. That's me too."

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  3. Sigh. "try and do something with words..." like try to leave a comment and NOT forget that you copied/pasted to change words around and then didn't edit.

    My first sentence was SUPPOSED to read, "It's sort of weird b/c it's not about it being soothing for me, but the more I don't write, the more I feel like a cat would having it's fur rubbed the wrong way.

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    1. Either way the line is written I got the gist AND it's a great line.

      I love to get a reaction from what I write. When it's a ho-hum reaction I blame myself even if I know the reader may not be into the subject at hand. It's like being a writer for NPR. I listen to the most obscure subjects sometimes and am moved or just plain interested because the writing is done so well. That's what I aspire to be, the writer who gets people to cry and/or laugh because of the mating habits of tsetse fly.

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  4. Cw2Ns, super hugs on your grand-daughter. I hope she is now safely home and doing well, and you and her family are able to stop worrying.

    I have a close friend and CP going through breast cancer at the moment, and writing is her salvation. I often find myself including emotions or situations from real life, but it isn't why I write. I write because I have to :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the super hugs, they're needed for sure.

      Writing because you have to, nails it.
      All the best for your friend. So many friends of mine have traveled her road. I wish her a gentle journey and a successful one. XO

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  5. So sorry to hear about your grand-daughter! There's a unique horror when your vulnerable little ones have something wrong, and I know nothing will make it right until you're hugging her again. Hopefully that's happened now and you can breathe properly again.

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    1. You know Sam, I think it has to do with the feelings of helplessness. She's almost herself again, thank God.

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    2. I'm so glad to hear it. Yes I think it's definitely the helplessness - not only can you not magically make them better, but you also can't even comfort them (properly) verbally, so you feel extra useless. I'm so pleased she's almost back to normal!

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  6. Love this - "Writing is a powerful prescription when the world begins to dissolve." Glad to hear your granddaughter is doing well! :)

    (Visiting from Ms. Reid's blog!)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Our little nugget is doing great. Don't 'cha love JR.

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  7. Glad your granddaughter is okay! I'm visiting from Janet Reid's blog, waving a paw to say, "H!"

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    Replies
    1. Hey, I'm waving back Lilly Faye. Thanks for wagging on in.

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  8. Carolynn, I am so sorry to hear you and yours had such a difficult, awful week. It's a blessing she seems to be out of the woods, but I know what this sort of fear can take out of you. Hoping you will recover too. Be well ...

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    1. Thanks Diane.
      You're right, it's fear, fear all the way. I was just so afraid the unthinkable was at our doorstep. My own kids were never that sick so to see that little one so sick...it was just awful.
      BUT
      She's better now.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  9. HI Carolynnwith2Ns,

    I am so glad to read that your granddaughter is home and well and being a pistol again. Best wishes to all of you this holiday weekend for some close family time.

    Thanks for stopping over to my blog and sharing your history with Maine and your Dad's wonderful philosophy about it. He sounds like a wise, wise man : )

    Best,

    Brenda B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, my dad was great guy. It was his dream to have a farm along the Maine Coast. That may not have happened but he did get his little piece of his heaven on earth - for awhile anyway.

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  10. Carolynn, I so glad your granddaughter is feeling like herself again. Medical worries are the worst. Have a good weekend.

    Stopped by from JR's blog to say hi.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Barbara.
      It was very scary but kids are so resilient .

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  11. Carolynn, you are an amazing woman and an amazing writer. I'm so glad that your granddaughter is okay, and I'm sending many loving blessings to her and to you. Please consider me a friend. And never hesitate to ask me to pray for those you care about.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Lilac thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I'll take all your loving blessings and prayers and pray them forward.
      XO

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  12. Carolynn, I'm relieved you added the update to this blog post. What a horrible and powerless feeling it is when a child is sick beyond the usual aches and pains. So glad she's better.

    I read (and very much enjoyed) several of your columns on your other blog and was reminded of the time, long ago, when I wrote op-ed type pieces for a very small paper in FL. That experience taught me to "write tight" and to meet column-inch restrictions, or else. I've gotten pretty lazy about that on my own blog. Guess I should re-visit the self-restraint of being concise, on occasion, rather than rambling on.

    Hope you can make it down here to NC for Bouchercon this fall. I'd love to meet you. Although, at this rate, I'll never be able to keep up with putting together all the names and faces of those who do plan to attend. There are worse things. ;-)

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    1. I would love to do a meet and greet in NC this fall. Alas, all seems to render down to dollars and cents. It would be a blast. We'd have to wear "hello my name is" stickers.

      Years ago I did lots of op-eds for some of the big dailies up this way. A lot were pretty controversial. I like doing the lighter stuff now, I don't have to look over my shoulder like I used to. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Glad to hear your little one is feeling better.
    Stopped by from QOTKU (admittedly late) and your post made me ponder... when have I let my writing sooth me? It's been a long time.
    Thanks for the post. JEN Garrett

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  14. Oh Jen, thanks for sipping by. Our littlest one is now back to her old/young self. She is such a joy. My writing helped me get through.
    BTW I love your new website and especially your butterfly on a stick Jen.

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