my posts here have nothing to do with my life offline. That’s a parallel
universe, never-the-twain-shall-meet-type-parallel. And my posts have nothing
much to do with prose either – it’s mostly poetry, and it’s rarely true, all a
lies fiction, have I told you? :) A super prominent
author said that writing is just sitting at the typewriter and bleeding. I don’t
know about novels, or even other poets, but my writing has nothing to do with
bleeding. It’s written from an unemotional place, it has to be, otherwise I
find I have no word control.
But all that’s gone for a toss in the pandemic year. It’s made the parallel converge, the public and the personal tangle up, emotions bleeding into lines spontaneously. I have really written it as it comes, ignored the ‘cooling’ rule and sometimes haven’t bothered to proofread or be particular about how the entry sounds or feels. It’s been a rough year, difficult to process, too much has happened in too short a time. It’s realigned some priorities, I don’t know if that’s temporary or permanent, and I’m not overly perturbed by that. Some things are a function of time, I will find out soon enough. Things fall apart, yes, but they also fall into place if I stop panicking and flailing about, freaking out trying to micromanage every detail. The last year has shown me that beyond any doubt.
It's not just me though. My entire cohort has had it rough in the past year. I phoned a friend the other day after months and months, I hadn't felt mentally put together enough to call her before, just managed with an occasional word on FB. Marking my presence but really quite absent. Anyways, we caught up properly and I got to know of the losses she has had to cope with. Not an elder generation, but peers and even younger family members, horrifying, untimely, traumatic. Perspective! - is easily lost but mustn't be.
I'm using this A-Z, my own pared down, themeless random, write-it-as-it-comes, read-when-able version, to regain some of that perspective. To find my way back to some sort of peace. Each day I push the shadow of the pandemic off by a sliver. Reach behind my recent memories and dredge up the ones from an earlier, less stressful, happier time. I open long ago albums, some from decades before I was born even, and the monochrome photographs with their fussy scalloped borders soothe away the roughness, a grain at a time. Every day I think of one positive about my parents. I make it a point to reiterate to myself that the manner of death is less significant than the manner of the life that's been lived. They lived long and happy, and were separated for less than a year in the end. There's a lot to celebrate, a lot to be grateful for. That's what is paramount.