Living a small life can reduce your thinking and the way that you interact with others despite you believing that it’s the best way. It can be like a comforting cardigan that you won’t throw out despite it having had its best days behind it. If it fits, and you feel comfortable wearing it, it can be something that you just snuggle into without going to any real effort to change it. You mend the tears, sew on a new button and keep on wearing it while time moves on and you resist letting it go.
Writing this Blog over the past few years, I know that have been very reflective in my writing. All of the entries have sprung from a real place deep inside of me. Sometimes I recounted an event, time or feeling. Other times it’s just been a story. But it has always been a memoir that I wanted to share.
I have recounted many stories and shared how I felt when they occurred. They have all been my personal recollections of events that took place in my life. Some entries have been about activities that were more current, but I unhesitatingly wrote about my feelings and how I was navigating a particular phase in my life as I documented them. At least I believe I did. I have loved recording them.
The sudden death of my darling sweet and younger sister six years ago had a profound life changing effect on me. In the everyday moments that I missed her and cried for her, I continued to live. Sometimes I didn’t want to. The emotional pain that I experienced was indescribable. I have been struggling all the time.
Writing helped, and the Blog somehow allowed me to rewind life and to include her in the stories that I wrote about. It kept her alive. There were nights that I would have a few glasses of wine and feel the need to pour words out, remembering times we were all together as a family. Looking back, I believe it was a coping mechanism. Even if I didn’t mention her singularly in my writing, my family memories always included her, so it was a way of keeping her close, near me, alive.
Recounting stories where all the members of a family are intact in that written moment suspends reality and can dupe a person into thinking that life is unchanged. But it’s a fool’s paradise, reality catches up and feelings and emotions have to be dealt with. Coping with loss is not exclusive to me. I am not so self-important to think that others do not feel this emotion in a similar way, and countless people who live on after the death of someone beautiful, unique and special somehow find a way to continue living. I poured my loss out in my Blog.
Writing is very personal.
Every single letter in the alphabet is available to be used by everyone. No one owns them. No word belongs to anybody. So I never worried about ’copying’ anyone’s feelings, or ‘plagiarising’ a sentence about loss. All the words were ‘mine’. Language is universal, and how feelings are understood is down to the expressiveness of the writer. My Blog was never really about how I was perceived by others; more that I hoped that my words and feelings were understood.
I am now really enjoying a new chapter in my life having recently joined a local creative writing group. People and their ideas can be so diverse and wonderfully different. I simply love sitting in, listening to individuals who are writing their own personal memoirs, film scripts, short stories, fiction and plays. It’s a democratic group, and a ‘prompt’ is suggested and agreed every week that we are collectively asked to adhere to.
It’s been a challenge. I have never written fiction, prose or poetry. All my previous meanderings on the blog have been about me, myself, and I. My life had become too small and inward-looking.
Writing about my past, my personal history, my family, has been hugely therapeutic, but I recognise that it’s now time to change, to move on.
Because I am now part of this lovely group I am exploring different ways of writing that I never considered before, and despite my initial misgivings about joining, I look forward to meeting them every week. We have had recent workshops where different styles of writing are explored and discussed, and encouragement and feedback are ever present.
I hope I am eloquent enough. I recognise that I am like an anorak woman who collects beautiful sounding words and learns the meaning of them. I have been like this all of my life. When it’s appropriate, I will never use a mundane word when there is an alternative more expressive beautiful one that I can replace it with. Such is the allure of language for me.
In this creative writing group that I now belong to I am spreading my wings. I am exploring the writing of fiction, prose and poetry. My joined up words are like migrating birds. They may have taken a long time to get here, but once arrived; they soar, dip, land and take off again. I am unafraid to be expressive. I am uncorked, explosive and unafraid.
Destiny? Let’s be having ya.