Yesterday, I granted myself a day off from this challenge. After my father’s funeral, I felt entitled. So I’ll be one day off from the rest of the group doing this challenge. So be it.
Many years ago, I came home from the funeral of one of my closest friends and opened my laptop. The story I wrote had its genesis in something I’d seen: her petite mother, her equally petite aunts, and her blonde cousin standing by her graveside, singing a hymn. I watched these brave women in their black dresses, and the thought came to me: a parent should never have to bury their child.
It happens all the time, of course. I knew it even then. Especially in the wake of recent horrific tragedies, it would be foolish to try to deny it. But the image stays in my brain to this day, the image and its accompanying thought. On that day, the way I addressed the thought and the image was to write.
Yesterday, though, I chose not to. By the time I got home with my takeout dinner, it was past eight o’clock, and I was done. I actually did think about writing, but not for long. The only thing I could have written about at that moment was the day’s events, and I simply do not have the distance to do this.
But this morning, as clients call and kind friends continue to reach out, as post-funeral tasks beckon, as I realize that the world is going to go on whether I like it or not, I took some time to disappear into my novel. Some of my current feelings are in the words I wrote, albeit in a very different context. It’s possible I’ll be drawing on more of these experiences as the book develops. More than possible. Likely.
Regardless, I wrote today.