I’m doing that thing where I’m not blogging and then I show up to apologize about it without explaining why. I don’t mean to, of course. Just between the dwindling comments and my small energies going elsewhere… well.
I’ve been writing. Not a lot and not as often as I’d like thanks to the shoulder/neck injury that will not go away, but I’m doing it. It’s exciting, of course. But unexpectedly emotional. There are things this book is dealing with that I’ve buried good and deep. An appropriate time of year for them to reemerge, I think. Or rather, for me to go and look for them. Once again I follow Persephone into the dark this autumn. It needs doing. These things need removing. This book is part exorcism, part love letter, part plain ol’ paranormal fiction. It’s been hard on it’s own. And there’s some real life health stress at the moment and that’s not helping. But it’s important. So it has to get done.
I’ve also been re-reading the excellent Chapter After Chapter (thanks again, Samantha!) and in it she asks you to put a timeline on how long the book will take. Given my current abilities and putting in a sizeable buffer for the inevitable bad days, I have it down that it will take me 5 years to write this book. Then she tells you to double it, to give yourself permission to go slow. 10 years. 10 years for one book. I have at least 6 books in my head right now.
What this means, of course, is that it’s time to pick and choose. What’s vital to my life and my ability (physical, emotional, mental, and practical) to get this book written versus what’s going to stop me being able to do that. With books lining up to be written and a lifetime of wanting to write, it’s come down to me realizing that I simply and truthfully cannot do or have it all.
You would think, having been sick now for 10 years next month (I was sick long before that but it hit an unsurmountable brick wall on Halloween 2003), that I would inherently understand this. I mean, I’ve got some pretty big limits that cannot be ignored (believe me, I tried). I should KNOW. And I do. But it’s only recently that I really understand this.
Writing is important. Vital. My health is important. Physically and literally part of my basic life force. Photography and knitting took a side step way before I realized this and I’m just now becoming ok with that. In fact, while I love the act of knitting, I know now that I don’t really like the product. And that’s ok. Blogging… I still enjoy, even though I seem to sending words into a small part of the ether. I used to get tons of comments and lots of interaction. I miss that. But I don’t know how it’s going to fit. I can write a book that will apparently take me a decade to write or I can blog. Finite spoons, you see.
But even with that, I’m thinking and feeling a lot of things I’m not sure I’m comfortable blogging about. Knitting was easy, it was a universal thing to share with knitters. I’ve not found that blogging about writing it a good thing yet, but boy howdy, could I use a community of writers right now. (I just typed “write now”. It’s seriously become a huge part of my life.) Pictures are not always a substitute for words, even if it’s way easier to picspam a blog entry than it is to sit here and expend energy trying to explain it all.
There’s the emotional component of the Book In Progress. I don’t know how to process that except in the book. That’s part of the point of doing this one first. There are shadows that need exposing to the light and now’s the time (and apparently writing is the way) to do it.
I’ve also been focusing on a lot of what would be called “new age” solutions to the physical problems lately, which is probably very easily dismissed as hooey. But this past week I sat in my doctor’s office and he told me that while my symptoms are progressing, there’s nothing he can do to help. I’m going to do the specialist gauntlet again: pain psychologist, neurologist, rheumatologist are the first ones up, but it’s an exhausting and usually frustrating process. In the meantime, where the medical profession has failed me (my doctor’s words), I’ve got to find a way to deal both emotionally and physically with the day to day reality. So I’m reading about chakras and meditation and energy healing and the mind body connection and expert patient guides to Sjogren’s syndrome because the reality of the experience looks NOTHING like the medical definition. I’m studying ways to mark the seasons, faith traditions, and ways to find the divine in daily life. I’m desperately searching for ways to keep hold of the positive amidst the pain. It’s been tough. I need support like I’ve never needed it before: positive human connection, comments, tweets… reminders that I’m no matter what pain or difficulty I face there’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Heavy stuff and ultimately shameful. In my family you don’t share the pain with the world. You grin and bear it and run yourself into the ground while pretending everything is fine.
Everything’s not fine. But I will be, even if this as good as it ever gets. I just need to find ways to keep hold of that.
Thank you for reading.