Thursday, December 11, 2014

Method to Madness: the catharsis of emotional alchemy

When writing, we can receive inspiration from a myriad of sources. We can be reading or watching something or a song can catch our ear. Still, there’s nothing more powerful than experience and life itself… unfiltered, straight from the tap. Each of us has multiple wells from which to obtain the flow of our stories. Some are lovely, fun, sweet and caring, some are angry, some hurt to the bone.

In my life, I’ve lost many people I love to life and I’ve seen death up close many times. The closest was dad. I saw his process in his condition, the ups and downs and how eventually the final tide didn’t come back up. I saw his body and mind go through so many phases, so many processes, so many fears and doubts and I did what I could to do my part to help him.

During his final days, several things happened that may or may not be related to when he was able to get the release his soul demanded. One thing was that in his room, even with the AC on full blast, there was heat exuding… intense, profound heat… it wasn’t anything I’d ever felt before. It was raw energy swirling in that room. He was semi-conscious by this point and trying to be there for him was really all about being there for me. That’s the thing about taking care of a terminally ill person. You end up doing it for yourself, because part of you needs to know someone will be there if you’re ever in this state. Throughout this process, Mom was amazing and showed fortitude that still impresses me even though she continues to up the bar because that’s what Moms do apparently. The other thing that happened was that two days before he passed, we had a cage with two love birds that for no reason fell, the cage door flew open and both birds flew off. When my father passed away, his room was as cold as I think it’d ever been.

I’m agnostic by choice and a writer by need. I doubt in my existence and all that surrounds us while I use words to tell stories in my search for meaning. That week I found solace in my ability to commit my feelings onto paper and I still do to this day.  That’s because hindsight doesn’t only afford me perspective and the opportunity to learn, it is also a deep well of inspiration I dip into.

We all have our brand of pain and it’s healthy to express it somehow. It needs to be released because if we dam it in, it’ll slowly work its way through and crack your spirit. For me, occasionally visiting and understanding pain has been wonderfully rewarding and intensely healing. It’s not that I stop missing my dad, it’s just I can deal with it a bit better. The same with the rest of life, it’s not that I’m not frustrated, or sad, or melancholic or angry, it’s just that instead of being a burden, these are colors for the stories I paint. They’re there and it’s no surprise my life peeks through the pages of my stories, even if it’s in full makeup and hard to spot.

So next time you find yourself facing a block… think of life and allow yourself to remember the good and the bad, process it, feel it all around you, let it wrap your arm and let the ink of your soul flow onto the page.

Peace, love and maki rolls. 

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