When you’ve stopped writing for a period of time, say for weeks, or more truthfully, months, then that blank white page glaring out from the LCD screen of my laptop looks more like a big black chasm waiting to claim my tumbling body as I scream, (wordlessly, because the problem is the lack of words) to my uncreative death. The black curser buzzing like a mosquito around my head. Blinking on and off in a repetitive Chinese water torture rhythm in front of my eyes. The only time any kind of creative muse hits me is at 4:00 o’clock in the morning, drumming words and phrases into my brain just when I’m trying to stop from thinking and get back to sleep. The adrenal fatigued upstart that my brain is, goes to sleep during the day and becomes fully awake during the night. Upside down, the words fall out of me and float back up to the realm of inspiration instead of down, down through my fingers and onto the page. I’m a dried old husk waiting for rain, and my creaky, arthritic fingers don’t have the strength to turn on the tap for the word sprinkler anymore than my cloudy, sleep-addled eyes can find it. My ass is numb from sitting on my chair pretending to write, and instead spending hours reading emails, blogs, facebook and yahoo news, even people.com. The only typing my fingers do is to click on the link to see what the celebrities in Hollywood are wearing.
And so I find myself just typing random words, thoughts as they float through my brain, thoughts that make no sense whatsoever, in an attempt to guide myself back to the highway where inspiration drives. The hum of the refrigerator reminds me that I’m hungry. The chirp of a distant bird outside and the sun warming my left shoulder (and aging the left side of my already sun-spotted face) makes me want to leave this laptop and take my book and cup of tea to the brown couch swing out on my back patio. Surely I’ve earned some reading time? – Even though it seems that’s all I’ve been doing for the past month. Reading everyone else’s words instead of writing my own.
It seems the thing I most want to write about is the thing that is the most elusive. Betrayal. And so I betray myself by writing about anything other than that. Skirting around the topic like the purple flowered cotton fabric that gathered itself around my sister’s teenage vanity, hiding the worn, water-spotted cardboard boxes containing her childhood dolls and stuffed animals. Memories hidden haphazardly between Chatty Cathy and the regal stuffed black cat from Avon snapped onto her round red cushion, locked securely with packing tape underneath the table.
Edging in sideways. Peeking through the lashes of almost closed eyes, I can see what I want to write about lurking behind the hydrangea bushes, poking up like a weed in my newly planted vegetable garden, its roots winding around my life like the pernicious ivy I spend hours pulling and pulling and pulling from the ground. Betrayal is like that. Once planted, it reaches out and wraps itself around everyone around, and then everyone around them, choking and choking and choking. It’s insidious like that.
But what stops me from writing, one of the things that stops me from writing, is the need to somehow honour both the full colours of betrayal AND the gifts received because of it. To give homage to the damage betrayal causes and to the healing that can follow. To give full weight to the incredible hurt and destruction, but also to the equally incredible joy and freedom that comes from the inner work of healing.
I’ve come to realize that I can’t do it within a blog. I’ve never been able to write short, fast and easy to read posts. Not about this, at least. I’ve discovered that I’ve been gestating a book. I don’t know what it will look like, what form it will take, how it will start or even how it will end. The only thing I do know is that it will be about betrayal. About my pilgrimage through that dark wasteland looking for the holy grail of forgiveness.