Writing for Relief

I am amazed at what acknowledgement can do for vision, for perspective.

Once I acknowledged writing in my creative life, it seems to now have a life of its own. When I looked all my scribbledy pages in the eye, they stood up, shuffled themseves into a nice, neat pile and said, “Just look at us.”

In 2010 & 2011, I have done just that…looked. Looked at what I was writing and why. Talked to the writing like it mattered (too bad I didn’t learn this lesson in personal relationships about 6 years ago). Since it has purpose, it is beginning to make its own sense, and push past just being a process and into being its own self. (Perhaps one day I can write myself into my very own life.)

In the past week, I have started submitting writing like I would normally submit photographs. Doing so with the same timid, one eye closed as I push the send button, type of mentality. Must just start, right?

In a similar vein, reading has always, always, always been a major part of life. It is how I understand the world. It is how I explore outside and inside of myself. Good writing makes me want. Makes me want to travel, to heal, to talk deep, to see slowly, to eat with passion.

Books come into my life with absolutely perfect timing. For me, God is alive in the library in a way, sadly, He is not in some churches. There is no serendipity in my choosing of a novel or a nonfiction book. I am always guided to what I need.

Sea Change by Jeremy Page was the most recent book which spoke to and of the ache, the swell and ebbing of loss in my life. At times, I could not pick up the book because I knew it would tell me what was coming. I wanted to not read, so I wouldn’t know, in hopes that it wouldn’t come.

While I am still processing all that this has meant personally, this I will share with you. The passage reminds me how words and stories are crafted, molded, sanded, and polished. For someone who prefers alternative process photography over digital for the sheer physicality of it–how your motions in the dark become visible in the sun, these words speak volumes.

“Very consciously, he looks at his pen, poised there–at the dark vein of ink in its centre. Since he started this sea journey, the level of ink has shrunk by half an inch as it’s unravelled into the long infected line of his writing. He wonders about the ink left in that pen. What will it reveal to him.”


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