Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I just finished the postscript of Stephen King's _On Writing_ and felt the hand of God. I've had this book for over a year, and should have finished it long ago, but for some reason, hadn't. The postscript was about how writing helped King get past the awful pain and suffering of his recovery from the hit and run accident that nearly killed him in 1999.
I've felt desolate and worried ever since my Grandma entered the ER for her first heart scare a month ago--and have been unexpectedly less capable of handling the emotional pain and fear that has accompanied me watching her go downhill, then uphill a bit, then back down, through a pacemaker surgery, to a physical rehab center (King mentions that PT stands for Pain and Torture--couldn't agree more!) and now back to the ER and hospital with pneumonia.
I am sometimes able to forget about her plight, but when the phone rings with an update or I think of her I feel enormous guilt for being happy and not worried for a while.
King writes of the redemptive power of getting back to writing--and it struck me as just how I have been feeling.
Something about all of this displaced stress (after all, Grandma is the one suffering, not me!) has made me itch to get writing and I find myself newly enchanted with the craft itself as well as the act of writing and continuing my book in progress. In his postscript King calls it, "getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay?" Brought tears to my eyes when I read that. Not exactly what you want when sitting alone in the Borders' cafe, but it moved me. Partly because I had been feeling guilty about the creative bursts spilling out during a time when I should be focused on someone else. I felt selfish. And yet King prods me onward: "a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic...drink and be filled up." Ahhhh. Beautiful words. And I got to read them just at the time when I needed them most.
So amazing this creative power and urge to write it down. I feel I'm being given the green light to wallow in my imagination and share whatever springs forth.
Deep down I know Grandma would approve--she just completed her fourth nonfiction book at age 87. I just pray that she's around for me to share my story with her.

1 comment:

Mr. Mommy said...

Grandma would approve -- you're carrying on the proud family tradition.