When it Becomes Painful to Write

I have, as of late, experienced some chronic pain. Pain can be such a nebulous thing to nail down, despite our tendency to make it linear (“On a scale of 1 t 10, how would you rate your pain if 10 is the highest?”)

All pain has a way of taking a parasitic attachment to our comings and goings.

Ever the hearty traveler, once pain has placed its hooks in you, it requires quite a bit of work for detachment.

Pain, physical and/or emotional, can also be quite the reflective surface in our lives. Any hurt pushes awareness to the forefront of our consciousness. We see things through a different prism when we are in pain.

The prism isn’t any more “right” or “wrong” than any other view. It’s just different.

This particular pain has shown me where I am blocked in life. My modus operandi through life has been this-Let me attack myself, and I will feel the pain, so you don’t have to feel anything at all.

This has led at various times to compulsive exercise, compulsive not eating, compulsive sex, compulsive anything – so I could “manage” this pain that was never quite mine in the first place.

So what does this have to do with writing? I am not in such significant pain that I can not write.

The issue has been rather, “What should I write and when?” For you see, many thoughts and ideas have swirled about but they have always been a bit out of reach. I could write about that…or not…I may finish that one piece…or not…

This is not necessarily complete writer’s block, but somehow the flow is off. The stream which used to be languid and smooth is altered, corrupted.

And, I realized (because, yes, blogging is where I compulsively share my 1,001 “realizations” per day. Seriously, could I use the word “realized” any more than I already do? 🙂 ) that the pain and the lack of the writing both reflected the same thing-

an unwillingness to address what is present in my life.

I don’t believe artists or writers truly run out of ideas for long. If there is difficulty coming up with ideas or bringing the ideas to fruition in some form whether it’s missed deadlines, incomplete works left hanging, rough starts and even more abrupt stops – it is the creative version of a pain signal.

Something, somewhere is not “right”. And the what is “not right” is NOT the problem. (We never truly know what is “right” and “not right”. ) The problem is that we are denying it.

Too often when we write or produce creative acts, we have expectations. 90% of the time, our inner artist is happy to go along with any creative thoughts and the attached expectations.

But every once in awhile, I will feel my inner artist refusing to hide and lie the lie any more. The truth is always the realm of the inner artist and the inner artist does not respond to the external scale of “good art” and “bad art”.

All art derived from the truth of awareness is “good art” and is meant to be produced and shared in the eyes of the inner artist.

When we turn away from this truth, our inner artist turns away from us.

I am not saying you have to drag out every tidbit of ugliness that has transpired in your life out into the public forum for your inner artist to be satisfied.

What I am trying to say is that if/when writing or art becomes a creative pain in the a**, be aware enough to ask yourself what you may be trying to keep hidden.

Maybe the “writer’s block” says more than we think. Maybe is the writer who is blocking something from evolving into expression.

If you ever find yourself “blocked” creatively- “What story am I holding, what story am I placing a lid on that wants to get out?”

The inner artist can “wow” each and every one of us with its brilliant displays of innovation but what it asks for in return is for the venue of expression.

Pain holds us. And we in turn create pain by our holding on to things that long for release. Let it go. Let it move in to the world as it should.

When You are all that Someone has in the Moment of Pain….

Come in, Come in

Come in, Come in

How many of us have sat with someone in pain, and prayed to take on their pain for them? The following was written after an afternoon discussion with my stepdaughter. She was in pain, again, partly due to life (child whose parents are divorced, being a pre-teen etc.) and partly due to her living with a narcissistic mother. I hate to always seem as if I am pointing the finger at this woman, mother of the child, but every child needs a champion, someone who understands the world they live in. And I see, and I witness, what is done to her, and you better believe I pray and tempt the fates, if only her pain could be mine.

“Fate”

In our afternoon-
separated by a half a room-
We are roped into a
slice of eternity.

In my imaginings,
I sense the wrappings
and coils of infinity.
The sensation- more binding
than reassuring.

And I do not know anything…
And my thoughts fail me…
And I wonder one too many ideas…

Do you need me to reach?
Or will movement induce
ripples for which you are ill-prepared?

Your pain weighs and grounds
us and I fear, oh, I fear,
that I may send it all toppling
down onto us.

I freeze- Medusa, in reverse-
my features set in stone-
in a pose I imagine to be
warm and welcoming.

We do not move closer,
we do not move further,
but the weaving begins.

Your pain, my solace; my former
pain, lending you a point of
understanding.

I want to help but instead I pray-
reverently-although I know it is wrong
and Fate will refuse to bend and bow
to my sacrificial will.

I want to take on your pain- you
are so young, my sweet, little one-
much that you do not know –
here, I sit, mirroring you, so you
understand that you are seen and you are heard.

Even when you feel no one else notices.
For today, even having one, will be enough.
I hope to God it is enough.

Part of the poem certainly deals with being a stepparent to a child in pain due to a biological parent. How much do you help? What lines are there for you to cross or not cross? On days like this, I hope my being witness and support is enough for her or for anyone in pain, for that matter.