I JUST CAN’T WRITE TODAY
Tuesday is the Eastside Writing Room time. These days it’s virtual. Today some of us wrote, one writer took a bike ride, another did Qigong, another a meditation, I did some major staring out my patio window, did a doc dump for a blog, and then wrote this after our official writing time had ended.
Earlier this morning I read an article by C Pam Zhang in Lit Hub about writing and grief. It kind of addressed the ambivalence I felt about writing the other day and what some of my colleagues felt today. I ended up not writing but reading a luscious book Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje. His use of language had me almost drooling. I kept thinking of words I love. That reading time sparked my desire to write. Anyway this Lit hub article focuses on how grief can freeze our writing. But writing is so much more than putting words on “paper.”
“Walking is writing. Crying is writing. Talking to a parent whose health you fear for is writing. Cooking is writing. Lying prostrate on the rug and watching sun stripe the wall is writing. Your lover’s hand on yours is writing. Your dog is writing. I have had years in which I could not see the shape of my life or string together a good sentence; and I have had a summer in which, three years late, the fog lifted in a different climate and suddenly I could write about my father. Don’t force the words. They will come, like old friends. You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles. If you are grieving, then I give you permission to write in the best way you can—which is to say, to live.” ~ C Pam Zhang
Each of us today chose our way to do our writing. How cool is that! I too am grateful for my group and our precious time. It’s my Tuesday Special.
Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay home.
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she’s writing to connect with folks, and for the fun of it, and sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling Tucson Tellers of Tales, and anywhere there’s a mic.