Thursday, August 10, 2006

How to save a life

This is what the sky looks like tonight, a deep bruised purple threaded with silver. Every so often, there's a burst of light and the world is reversed, black trees against a white sky. A negative of itself. I can hear thunder, rumbling, moving, but no rain, not yet. The storm is patient, waiting for the right moment to break.

For weeks, I haven't been able to eat, sleep, concentrate. The world became a landscape of softened edges, faces blurred like wet glass. Slowly, my appetite is returning, I am returning, to that other self, the one I thought had disappeared for good. Tonight I caught sight of that girl, reflected in a window, and the familiar thought returned: Who are you? Where are you going? These are questions I still don't have the answers for but I'm searching, lingering in doorways and losing myself on unfamiliar streets.

My heart's been broken. It hurts but I'm healing. Earlier, in the grocery store, a stranger smiled at me and I felt myself smiling back. I am not the girl who smiles; I am the one who looks away, the one who won't meet your eyes but this time, I did. And just like that, I knew that it, love, was still possible.

I took the long way home, driving with the windows down, eyes turned toward the sky. I could hear the cicadas humming in the tall grass, their high keening chirrup. A familiar song came on the radio and I found myself singing along. Even through the pain, I'm still able to sing. I drove past a house that seemed to glow, soft yellow light pouring out into the night. Cars lined both sides of the street; it looked like a party, some sort of celebration. Something happy, I hoped. Something happy.

These moments may seem insignificant, but to me, the small moments are where life happens. The small moments are possiblity, promise, hope; they prepare you for the bigger things to come. I may never write a novel and that's okay. I may never publish another story or poem and that's okay too. I'll continue to look for, to live, in these small moments, and to share them, with you. These words are a record of sorts, proof that I was here, that I lived, loved, hurt, healed. And that above all, I didn't give up.


Blogger briliantdonkey said...

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. The scarey part to me(in a good way) is that in all the time you seemed to be thinking you were 'not feeling it' or struggling your writing was and is still quite remarkable. You writing like that while 'not feeling it' is just a gentle reminder of how good things have been and will be again when you are. Even if your inner doubts don't want to believe it.


PS: people compare me to the crazy chick in the movie waiter as well, which is odd since I rarely wear that shade of lipstick.


8/11/2006 12:26 AM  
Blogger firstcitybook said...

You have achieved a good realization, Rebecca. It ultimately doesn't matter whether one publishes; what's important is the act of writing. Look at Jack Gilbert--he only has a few small volumes of poetry from a lifetime of writing. B.H. Fairchild has published late in his life. As a poet, one needs to be writing when happy, when sad, when feeling unloved. It's those moments that make up the human experience.

8/11/2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

The details in this are beautifully observed. As for publishing - that's about the product, but it is the process of writing that is satisfying. The publishing is just the icing on the cake (I have some great recipes for uniced cakes!)

8/11/2006 6:02 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

You've made a very important discovery. Life is indeed about those very small things. The fact that you've learned to appreciate them tells me all I need to know about your future prospects.

8/11/2006 6:57 AM  
Anonymous bookfraud said...

you may not care whether your are published, or what happens with the writing, but you have a grip on the inner workings of the heart, and that, my dear, is not a small thing for a writer to possess.

8/11/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger jason evans said...

I'm very happy the light is returning for you. I don't know if we can ever be closed to love completely, and I'm thankful for that.

The writing will return. It may take a vacation, but it will never leave you.

8/11/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Rob, really? I thought pink was your signature color. :P

FCB, I just realized that it doesn't really matter to me if I do or not. It would be nice, yes, but it's not the end all, be all. It's taken a lot of the pressure off.

Catherine, I love cake.

Scott, if you can read my future, tell me, what do you see?

Bookfraud, I hope that's true. It seems like if I really did, I wouldn't be so alone but maybe it'll work out in the end.

Jason, you're absolutely right. If anything, I'm more likely to leave it, although I always come back in the end.

8/11/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Lex Ham Rand said...

Hi, Rebecca. I've nothing of substance to add to the conversation, but wanted you to know I read the post for today.

Small moments can be very densely-packed with sensory input, emotional entanglement and psychological impact.

They deserve to be observed, experienced and shared. You do a very good job at that.

8/11/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger January said...

Glad you are feeling optimistic. The words will come when you least expect it.

Whenever I think I will never ... (publish a book, travel, etc.), I remember that I have the next 60+ years to make it happen. No rush.

8/11/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Rand, you know I appreciate your presence here as always. The fact that you continue to read my nonsensical rambling says enough.

January, you're right. If it's meant to happen, it will happen. I believe this.

8/11/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Valannin said...

I just had this very conversation (well, not word for word) with a very close friend of mine; we agreed - if one cannot appreciate the small, fleeting joys in life, then we will never be fully prepared to face the devastating low periods.

I just wish the joys would happen by on a more frequent basis...

8/11/2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Me too.

8/11/2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I'm glad you're feeling better, Rebecca. I especially liked the part when you said you smiled. :)

8/11/2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

It was very out of character for me. But I liked it. I think I'll do it again. :)

8/11/2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

And you reckon you can't write? You can so write baby! Write for ten minutes without letting that pen leave the paper - that's something that works as a good kick start for me.

8/12/2006 3:04 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Chiefbiscuit, thanks. I can write, it's just writing something good that's the problem. :)

8/12/2006 3:28 PM  

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