Writer Friend asked me yesterday what my creative plans for the coming year were. (He means to finish the last draft of his novel to his agent’s satisfaction. Good luck to him, I say.)
Me? Well, I just stared at him with my lower jaw on my chest.
Plans? Creativity? Ideas? Hell, even original thought? I beg your pardon?
Let me explain: Mother-in-law (henceforward referred to as Mother) lives with Aunt-in-law (henceforward referred to as Aunt). Mother has dementia. Aunt is profoundly disabled by arthritis. Aunt is Mother’s carer. Just before Christmas, Aunt fell on the stairs and was rushed to hospital with suspected broken neck. Cue care crisis. Luckily, neck was not broken. Result, however, was several days in hospital for Aunt, meaning Mother had no carer. Husband and I, and rest of family, rushed the three and a half hour drive to take over care. Aunt comes out of hospital, still needing 24-hour care.
Its a mess.
The upshot of all this is that we spent Christmas nursing, so effectively Christmas didn’t happen. For ten days, my brain was occupied thusly: 90% firefighting care/nursing issues, 10% ‘ohmygodhowarewegoingtogetthroughthis???????’
We made it home in time to spend an exhausted New Year’s Eve with dear friends, and to stare blankly at the telly for the Sherlock Series Three Episode One premier last night. (Don’t ask me for an opinion, I haven’t got one yet. I’ll tell you when I get my brain back.)
I haven’t had an original thought to spare for myself for nearly a fortnight.
So the plans I had for writing a jolly, upbeat, ‘these are my creative plans for 2014’ post for you today are wrecked. I don’t have any plans because I haven’t had time to think about them. Of course, I will write one, eventually, when my brain is less bombed, and when I have recovered from the bone-deep exhaustion that only an ME sufferer faced with such an emergency can experience.
Why am I telling you all this? (Apart from to apologise for not writing something you didn’t even know I was going to write?)
Because this is a real-life demonstration of the philosophy this blog was established to promote.
In a minute, I will put away my laptop and excavate my desk from under the heaps of clutter that accumulated there in the chaos before Christmas. And then I will open my journal, and pick up my pen, and press the nib to the paper.
And then I will find my way back to myself.
Somewhere, buried under the rubble of the last two weeks, is my soul. My mind. My creativity. And my pen will make a line, a track that will lead me back to my soul, my mind, my creativity.
This is why writing is important. Whether we write a journal or a story, a play or a poem, that line of ink leads us home to ourselves, over and over again. And if we follow that inky trail, we will never be lost, no matter how difficult and hopeless things seem.
Happy New Year,
With Best Wishes,