Today another funeral. Another day of tears, of mourning, remembrances and that mixed bag of family sludge that seems to rise up from the darkest places. Life and death, living with the deep questions of our existence as each of us mark our time in this world. I’ve been working on my first piece for my creative nonfiction class, trying to write about my experience after my accident last June. I’m finding it hard not to make this just a sort of dry laundry list of what happened and what I went through, in my thinking that’s not being creative. Being creative is digging deeper, peeling away the layers like an archeologist who carefully scrapes away at earth and dust to expose the wonders that lie beneath the ground. However, unlike the archeologist, I’m not dealing with dirt and dust, but with real flesh and blood feelings. Feelings that at once expose the deepest fears and failings that we all at one time or another face. My own inadequacies laid bare as I cut through the messiness of my own feelings. As I write about that day and the aftermath I struggle to recall the details, the small minute moments, as I worked to recover from that day. Not just the struggle of the physical healing, but also the emotional and spiritual healing. In the gray spaces, in those early mornings when dark and light mingle and the bright colors have yet to have been revealed. How to write creatively without sounding self centered or in need of extreme therapy and yet maintaining a sense of the true self. The voices in my head all seek their own say, ghosts of words spoken in a long dead past that continue to haunt. Yet, those ghostly voices are there for a reason as they help me to reflect on what I’m writing, even those darker voices that want to pull down a curtain over the creation.
As I write this I’m struck by how much writing is like visioning. A vision or dream can be material, something solid and tangible then again it can be quite ethereal, making it hard to grasp. Dreams and visions ignite the imagination as they burst forth from deep within born out of memory and life. My only desire is to have my writing read as good as it sounds in my head. To take what I see so clearly and then put it into words that convey what I’m feeling. Like a great work of art that draws you into another world, or a piece of poetry that enters into the heart and soul where transformation takes place. It’s interesting that the one word focused free write this week is, “naked.” I’m only supposed to take five minutes to write something but thought it was good to use as I gather my thoughts together. Because that is how I feel when I write, naked. My words, my thoughts, my fears and the expectations I have for myself all out there with no barriers to stop anyone from looking. Is it creative? Well that’s for the reader to decide, all I can do is write and continue to write each day, to quote William Faulkner; “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”