Throughout the year, I had periods where I just couldn’t write. Either I was in the midst of the emotion and I wanted to give it the space it needed, or I just couldn’t face the emotional weight of coming back to write about something I had recently carried.
I would think of the journal, think about writing, spend a few breaths taking inventory of my energy, my mental state, and whether I could write a bit about the ongoing sorrowing. And I would just say no. “No, I can’t do this to myself right now.” And I’d take a break.
At times it’s because the emotions would carry from day to day and I didn’t want to “escape” into writing. I didn’t want to dissociate from the emotions and move into an analytical space, almost looking down towards the emotions from a clinical, observational perspective. An early decision, I don’t know exactly where it came from, was to stay in the feelings of the sorrow as long as I needed to.
Perhaps one of the reasons came from a book Joan was reading. She shared that a couple owned a small business and had lost a son. An employee who stayed with the company noted that over the course of a couple of years, most every other employee quit because of the toxic environment. This person indicated the couple wouldn’t face the reality of the loss, turning their energy instead to running the business and coping with alcohol or such to numb the pain.
If I was going to lose touch, I wanted to lose myself into this loss. I wanted to sit with the pain, not as a masochist, but to familiarize myself with its depths. To honor it for the strength it possesses by acknowledging how deeply I felt it. Some time later I heard a familiar refrain from a Coldplay song, “Get lost and then get found, or swallowed in the sea”, and I thought about all the times when I best knew how to get to some place was because I got lost around it, whether it was directions to a friends’ house, or learning a process. I never knew as much about the Canon 7D until I was handed one in the middle of a production and told to “go get some footage of this thing.” I panicked and initially did the wrong thing and then asked some questions and found the right thing and did it.
These periods of quiet intersperse the next year. Sometimes I’ll let them exist just as moments to collect my (our) breath and others I’ll turn the blog over to someone else to write or comment on. They weren’t planned, just necessary, so keep coming back and take good care of your heart.