Writing in The Dark

Writing in The Dark

How do you write healing?

There was a time when I awakened with an urgency to help others heal. Through writing, I would lay bare the first fruits that God poured into me upon the rising of a new sun. Oftentimes, the inspiration came to me first, beckoning me to see someone or something differently; to be more attentive to those around me; to stand in the gap for someone else somehow. This ritual made me feel connected to something greater. I felt useful, like my gifts mattered; I felt valued, like my words mattered; I felt radiant, like my purpose mattered. At that time, I felt as if I was doing precisely what I was called to do—affirm, love, validate, or help someone along their journey, somehow. I wrote healing … or so I thought.

Somehow, I had moved far away from writing. I had become eerily afraid of writing publicly. I was now afraid of my words sounding hollow, insincere, superficial, or lacking if I returned to the page. Something happened, but what?

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Attempt after repeated attempt, I failed to write. I failed to find the courage to write or speak the words that had become dark. I was embarrassed and ashamed that I had been feeling off. I was no longer inspiring the world. I was no longer writing to heal myself, let alone anyone else. If I dared to maintain a façade that I was writing to inspire, then I would have to declare myself an imposter, so I decided not to write for far too long.

I was not good at pretending I was okay.

I was out of alignment with what gave me purpose and fulfillment. I was chasing what I thought I wanted rather than embracing what I already had. My children were getting older, and I thought that my being a writer and a full-time mom within the home was wearing out its usefulness. Truth is I wanted what I thought was a “real job”. I also wanted a level of financial say-so in order to feel like I was contributing to my family. Being a writer was not paying the bills.

So, I set out to pursue full-time work and got it, but it damn near cost me everything. Not writing cost me dearly. Like an older car in need of constant repair, the costs only mounted. My emotional, mental, and physical health suffered. My marriage did not escape unscathed either. Forget about self-care. I did what I had to do to make it through the day but could not wear a mask beyond that. I was not good at pretending I was okay. I struggled with being present in most relationships due to the complexity that I introduced to an otherwise tranquil, happy, and writerly life. By evidence of my actions, writing was no longer my priority and I grieved not writing.

Truth is, the further away I strayed from my gift of being a writer, the harder it was to return to it. It was as if I had buried my gift somewhere—under papers, behind a closed office door, within the desk drawer, in the safe with a combination lock. But I forgot the combination. The longer I stayed away, the harder it was to call myself a writer. I implored spirit to give me meaningful words to write, to just give me back my gift already, but in order to do so, I would have to write through darkness, and writing through darkness was hard work. There was no quick fix. Writing my unbridled truth, albeit dark, was the only way that I could find true healing.

Writing in the dark allowed me to remember the combination which was living intentionally, practicing gentleness and compassion with myself, and not beating myself up for making mistakes. These were the rituals that restored my gift, allowed me to write again in earnest, and provided me with the inspiration, love, and clarity that I missed.

Writing my unbridled truth, albeit dark, was the only way that I could find true healing.

My healing required me to write even as I healed. It was painful. Getting my gift back required me to reject my mask, acknowledge uncomfortable truths, and forgive myself. Writing is an arduous task, and to do it “right” means doing it true even through the darkness.

I Surrender All

I Surrender All

Life gives us innumerable opportunities to be fully immersed in our purpose, but because of fear, we engage in over-analysis and self-censure. We spend a disproportionate amount of time seeking external validation of what has already been confirmed. Though we know it is time to step out of our fear and into our light, we wait for yet another sign. Sounds familiar?

In this post, I would like to offer a slightly different take on this age-old matter of purpose. Continue reading “I Surrender All”

Why We Must Write

198

What good is your pen, they ask
dem just words on a page, you know
markings on a sheet
indication that maybe
you have
too much time on your hands
maybe…

I tell them
there’s power in this here pen
what I’m doing is
making war on this here page
and sometimes love too
Continue reading “Why We Must Write”

Dance Woman, Dance

Loving
Saturday mornings
when there’s coffee
and sun showers
filtering through old windows

when it’s clean
when there’s flow
when I’m writing
while the house is still, quiet.

When age-old griots inspire
and new-age poets remember
we share our tales and stories
make them tall and personal

women writing
remembering
sharing
flowing

my ancestors dance inside me
beckon me to finish
welcome me to the circle
“the floor is yours”, they say
“you, yes you”

1295536158-ubw_southern_diaries_ayano_hisa1the oldest sway
nods yes
no words are spoken
no need
the middlers hold court
we make merriment

Our dresses laugh
make sport of rainbows
for we are so much more colorful and beautiful
radically unscripted

even in our quiet
in our regaling
we affirm each other
our individual might
our stealth
our silent strength

We are power
yet it’s me
who’s made anew.

So What … Of the Meantime

In the meantime,

I’ve been….
Writing
But, of course!

Watching
My babies grow.
Enjoying
Summer.
Investing
In….
Loving
him.
“He loves me…. he’s special…. ly different”

In the meantime
I’ve been
Working
On a masterpiece–
“Thinking of a master plan/’cuz ain’t nuthin’ but sweat inside my hand”

I’ve been
Affected
No doubt
Inspired
By
Little, but Tuff lights
Glowing in a dark world
But back to
In the meantime….

I’ve been
Recharging– everyone needs a respite
Reprioritizing
Settling
Into my new
Physical places, and
Metaphorical spaces
Tying up my literary shoelaces….
Getting acquainted with
Folk,
Fictional and otherwise.

Shedding
Clothes that don’t fit,
Pounds that won’t sit.
Lifting!
Them

Yes!
Lightening the loads.
Can’t nobody walk tall weighted down!
Ah….
Quiet, personal victories.

Accepting….
A New Season.

In the meantime
I’ve prayed.
For….
Our children,
My sisters-
Several of which,
Though new to me,
Lived in me–
My very nerves and sinew
Long ago
From the start.

My brothers too….
It’s complicated.

In the meantime
I’ve been
Writing
Speaking…. Greater
Life
Into my own Life
Reveling
Quietly
Yielding
Humbling…. to my own gifts
In the meantime….

I’ve been praying for–yes again,
And receiving too,
Divine inspiration
In my….

Writing
Healing
Encouraging
Reading
Engaging
Submitting
Connecting
Loving
Acknowledging
Spoken Word-ing
Injecting
Real…. Meaning
In the time-ing!

I’ve been
Still…. Present
Yes!
Me
In the meantime

Loving
Me.

 

 

© SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form, [2010 – 2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SomerEmpress and Life As An Art Form with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.