I’ve been busy performing (two plays in 12 months!), serving (1 board of directors, 1 committee), teaching (5th-12th grades) and going to Colorado with my family.
But I haven’t been blogging.
I compose blog posts in my head all the time. I have things to say about so much – gay marriage, the Confederate flag, health care, Celiac disease, Harper Lee, El Nino and many, many other things.
But I can’t sit down and write. My brain is going ninety miles an hour and I can’t stop it. Which topic do I pick? What do I have to say? Does anyone care what I think? Why do I want to blog?
I look at my writer’s dam (I don’t see it really as a block – I can see the ideas on the other side, there is also a tiny trickle making its way out now and again, I just can’t knock the whole dam down and get that beautiful, steady flow) and . . . well, I can actually tell you when it appeared. I can tell you what was the final straw/branch/limb placed there by the busy little beavers in my mind.
I just can’t write about it.
I have written a couple of semi-private posts and shared them with an inner circle. But still, two years later, I’m not really ready to open up and tell more. As much as I have healed (or as much as I think I’ve healed), the wound is still too tender, too easily opened up again.
To continue the wound analogy, I don’t believe that I have developed an infection. I don’t feel that there is something festering, taking hold and eating away. As a Christian, I honestly feel too grounded in the Word of God for that. But I still feel pain. I feel the pain, the tenderness around the wound site and, like a paper cut on a joint, the flesh keeps opening at the most inopportune times. A song, a joke, the way an adjective is used – all of these things can cause the bleeding to start again. Sometimes I actually find myself putting my hand over my heart and pressing in on my chest.
But, like a flesh wound, my wound is slowly diminishing. Each time it is opened, it’s less deep. There is less blood. The routine of it has taught me how to tend to it. Well, for the most part. Sometimes it stops bleeding instantly. Sometimes it weeps for a few days. But it’s healing. Slowly. Slowly.
Some days I don’t even remember that it’s there. Happily, those days are becoming more frequent. I don’t know if there will ever come a day when I will boast a scar that never opens. I may. But I doubt that the pain will ever take its leave. I’m not sure that I want it to. If there is no pain, then that means that I don’t remember the loss. And if I don’t remember the loss, then I don’t remember the good. And there was good. Because when it was gone, there was loss. And then pain.
Why has this wound dammed up my writing? I don’t know fully. I have a feeling, as I’ve been analyzing the snot out of it, that it has to do with identity. So much of my identity was formed because of the cause of this wound. (I’m still not even ready to put a name/face with it publicly.) As a result, whenever I try to write a blog post that is an opinion/commentary piece, I question who I really am. Are these my views or am I a puppet – a ventriloquist’s dummy spouting views that may not be my own? Was I formed or did I really find my true self because of this experience? Was I showed freedom that I didn’t know I had, or was I molded slowly into a shape that was comfortable, but really not me? Are my words, my writing style, my “voice” really mine? I think I know. But then . . . maybe I don’t.
So that’s where I am right now. I have a lot to say, but I don’t know if I’m saying it. I try to write, but then another branch slips into the opening and stifles the flow. I have tried to start posts online and I have tried to start posts with pencil on paper. This is as far as I’ve gotten.
One last wound reference. When I was a kid, I had a screen door close on my foot. It left a large scrape on the back of my foot/leg just above my heel. The scar that formed was very keloid-like. For years it stuck out at least a quarter inch from my normal skin. Certain shoes rubbed it so that it would itch or become inflamed. I never told my parents about it because I could manage it. I just put band-aids on it or chose shoes that wouldn’t rub it wrong.
I managed it. I told no one.
I don’t remember when it resolved. I don’t remember when I stopped noticing it. When I went to look at it just now, I even looked on the wrong foot first! Now it has faded to a small square that is about half a shade lighter than the skin around it. It looks like a small, normal scar. The only reason it entered my mind was that last week my nephew showed me a scar on his knee that has turned into a keloid. I was able to tell him that it’s not permanent. It will fade. It will never go away completely, but it will look almost completely normal again. And eventually, he won’t notice it for years.
I know that at some point I will need to tell my story – fully and (possibly) with names. And I know that it will be because I want others who have similar scars and wounds to know that it’s not permanent. It will fade. And eventually, they won’t notice it for years.