Creative Practice: Writing
Today was my godfather’s funeral. I had thought I was doing very well with the loss. I lulled myself into thinking I would not have to go into the depths of this loss and all the new realizations that came with it. Today that illusion was broken. This is the first sudden and unexpected death I have dealt with as an adult. At the funeral, it hit me hard. Grief wracked me through and through. I knew the only way to the other side of this grief was through it. What better place to fully experience grief than a funeral. That, and there was a military salute complete with Taps playing. That song. How does anyone stay strong during that song?
One of my Creative Circle friends, wisely suggested how hard it is to believe that loss is such a universal emotion, because when you’re going through it you feel so alone. It feels like your own person hell. She said it much more beautifully, and it resonated so deeply with me.
I did a bit more writing today. It was very rough and very raw. It was exactly what was needed.
I really meant to keep up and not get behind on my blogging, but life. You know? Between a funeral for a loved one, followed by a huge wave of subsequent grief that knocked me for a huge loop, and starting a new job a few days after the blog has gotten away from me. I could beat myself up, but I won’t. I had a very difficult week or so. There were very high highs and some pretty low lows. So I decided to be gentle and love myself. An idea, which has been novel to me in the past.
While I have made time for creativity each day, even when it was very hard, I have not blogged about it. So I will catch up, and move on.
Creative Practice: Poetry
I am still working on poems about grief. They are very brief. I don’t know if they will ever be ready to see the light of day, but I do believe they are helping me heal. If they ever are refined and ready to share, I will share them here. For now, they are just a way to deal some very raw emotions. That is enough.
I’ve missed the ocean. I know I’m spoiled, but it’s one of the reasons I pay so much rent for so little space. Regular trips to the beach have become a part of my own personal healing on so many levels. I have spent a good deal of solo time here. Just me and the dog. In fact, I have spent a large quantity of my time the last six months in a fairly solitary life. At first I thought of it as a detox, but then I just settled into asking what my body needed. For months, my body told me it needed rest and deep periods of reflection. I have felt a metamorphosis taking place. I still have no idea what will come at the end, but I have stayed safe in my quiet cocoon waiting, digesting, and being. I’m quite sure many of my friends think I may have ceased to exist, but it was what I needed to do.
This morning I decided to take a late morning trip to dog beach. It’s been weeks and I needed it. I knew I would write, possibly take up this theme of grief again. I was not looking forward to that.
As I was making the solitary drive to Ocean Beach this morning, I noticed a large outcropping of birds in the channel between the ocean and the bay. Within that group of hundreds of birds, there were at least ten white herons. I have always loved herons and cranes, and considered a sighting lucky. Up until now, I had never seen a large group of either. I had always considered them solitary birds. Now, I have no scientific knowledge of the habits of these birds, so I’m working solely off assumption here. I took it as a sign (or maybe symbol is a better word), that perhaps my time of solitude is breaking too. For months I have been in this cocoon. Waiting. I feel my self getting ready to emerge as something that I have yet to understand. Things in my life have naturally been falling into a more social mode. This new style of feeling my way through, of checking in with intuition has been so foreign to me. I still have no idea what comes next, but I am starting to see the light outside of this cocoon.
Creative Practice: Word play, Brainstorming
My last day of travel! After a particularly crazy morning at my parent’s house filled with some mix-ups, I got on the road to come back to San Diego. Much later than anticipated, which was not a good thing since I had to be at a family gathering that afternoon. I drove home, got the dog settled, grabbed presents, and turned back around the way I came. I spent a lovely time with family, and came home exhausted.
Not having had a moment to do anything creative all day. I knew I had to do something, but what? Due to our family’s recent loss I had been thinking about grief on my way home, which led me to consider all the things we grieve for in life. It seems to me that the experience of going through any kind of grief is so bizarre. Of late, I am learning to welcome grief in as a friend and companion. This is something new for me. In the past, I have had two ways of dealing with grief. The first being avoidance. The latter gritting my teeth and bearing it much the way I did with math homework all through high school. Just push your way through this unpleasant task. I have never invited grief in for an afternoon snack, and tried to get to know it better. In this year of letting go, befriending grief and loss seems to be a task I must face. So tonight I brainstormed some thoughts on grief. I began to write down my thoughts. I kinda, sorta wrote the very rough draft of a poem.
It’s funny, another thing I am not very comfortable with is poetry, yet here I find myself feeling an urge to write poetry about grief. It’s not that I have anything against poetry. I quite like it when other people write it. It’s just that I feel lost when I try to write it. I don’t know if I’m doing it right. Although I loved my high school English teachers, I do blame them a bit for my fear. One of my English teachers had us do a poetry project. The haikus in that along with all the talk of Iambic Pentameter make me feel like poetry must be very structured and difficult to write in order to be good.
Here I am thinking about writing poetry about grief. What have I gotten myself into with this project? Who knows what this will become. Perhaps in the end it will only be essays, or even journal musings, but however it turns out, it feels like another necessary step to healing and listening to my soul.