Writing is a powerful thing. Yesterday, when I sat down to do Sunday Scribblings, I intended to write about my old dogs Japhy and Abe--simple, pure, deep, uncomplicated, unconditional love. And then I don't know what happened except that I ended up opening a huge can of worms into the quagmire of my subconscious...and now that I read it over I realize that I didn't even touch the surface. Lisa wrote that sometimes the past needs to stay in the past--and she's right. But J.'s suicide is a big deal...and in many ways I still haven't made sense of it--I haven't really dealt with it. He was once my boyfriend, but more importantly, he was a good friend. Now he is gone. I'm not sure I've allowed myself the emotional space to grieve the loss of him as a friend because having once been in a serious relationship with him complicated the subject for me.
Last night I dreamed that I was hiding behind a different identity--I was an outlaw of some sort--and for some reason, people thought I was more daring than I really was and nominated me for a race. The race involved speeding down huge hills in motorized wheelchairs (don't laugh!) way, way, way down into a valley, hill after hill after hill. Death was quite likely. The rest of the dream consisted of me trying to evade the race.
But if I were to interpret that dream I would say that what it's really about is that I am trying to evade a very real and very scary subject: J's death. (And if you're wondering about the wheelchair, J. and I found an old wheelchair in a dumpster once and spent the winter riding it down the hill in a nearby park. We also took the trucks off of an old skateboard and rode that down too. It was a fun, and rather dangerous, winter.) I realize today just how little I said. After I read Lisa's and Deirdre's posts I realize that I wrote only a little part of the story. I got started...and then I got scared.
I also realized that I have more to say. And I remember now just how healing writing can be. There is a lot I don't understand about J's suicide. None of us know exactly why he did it. And the truth is that there is nothing that can undo what happened. But it's not about losing an old lover--it's about losing a friend.
The truth is that I love my husband and that my world changed when we got together. Maybe I've felt that in dealing with J.'s death I'm in some way being untrue to my marriage. But I think, more than that, it was a clever way of avoiding a painful subject.
Last night I was reminded of what writing is capable of. Maybe my blog isn't the best place to untangle the webs of my mind. I see so many people suffer because they are afraid to deal with things that hurt. Writing is capable of drudging up the most ancient, ugly crud...but it also has the ability to heal and make sense of things. That's what I love about writing. Even if it ends up surprising me when I least expect it.
Of my last post gkgrrl said:
i think it would be interesting to read other peoples versions of this prompt because i suspect many of us will echo a similar story to some degree, to some depth, where at different points in each person's story, another person will be able to say, "there. that is the thread in your story, that also runs through my story."
I think she's right. Maybe that is why we write....and in the end, we find that we are not alone.