I haven’t posted anything on my blog for some time now. Actually I haven’t been able to write anything at all for a while. And when I don’t write I feel empty and lost.
Joan Didion tells us writing is the act of saying “I, I, I,” while according to Julia Cameron:
“We write about what we see, about what we are trying to see clearly. We write, and write some more, because language is slippery, and truth is. We write because the light we have to see is always shifting.”
Writing for me is a form in which I can explore and express my reality. It requires that I look at things. And the light that I have to see with that Julia speaks about is constantly shifting lately. And every time I think that everything is okay and I can continue and get back in the game, something happens to hinder my process, let alone my progress. And when that happens things seem hopeless and empty and I find my faith dwindles yet again.
“Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure but betting with your last cent. Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your Inmost self questions at night – and then getting up and going to work.” Mary Jean Irion
You ask your Innermost self questions at night. Questions like ‘What if it will never happen?’ ‘What if for some reason or another I’ll never be able to pursue my dream again?’ ‘What if the thing that I long for most is out of reach?’ And that feeling, the feeling of self-doubt that comes with all these questions, is enough to drain all my energy and make it harder to find my path again.
Julia Cameron warns us against doubt, self-doubt specially. “We must not doubt,” she writes. “Once in your system it will take in another doubt- and another- and another. They must be stopped.”
To stop these destructive and negative thoughts I do the one thing I know how to do best. Turn away from the real world, switch off all the noise outside and go to this safe place I know. I curl up in my corner of the house and bury myself in a book and read. This always works for me. I get lost in the story and things look good again and I feel fine afterwards.
“Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention.” Julia Cameron
Pay attention! Pain is what it took me to pay attention. It was only after I lost my husband to cancer that I tried to slow down, look around me and pay attention. I tried to listen carefully to the inner voice inside me and the voices of those around me.
I realized that in times of pain, when the future looked too terrifying to mull over and the past too painful to remember, each moment, taken alone, was always bearable. Even four years and five months later, the precise moment I am in is always the safe place for me. Just at this moment, just now.
“Attention is an art of connection. The reward for attention is always healing. May begin as the healing of a particular pain, the lost lover, the shattered dream. But what is healed, finally, is the pain that underlies all pain: the pain that we are all as Rilke phrases it ‘unutterably alone.’” Julia Cameron