First of all, the agency got us night coverage and the nurses are showing up and taking good care of Catherine! Our prayers were answered. Whew!
In the light of that, it’s even harder to write what I’ve realized. Funny. Usually my fingers fly across the keyboard as the thoughts roll out of my head through my fingers to the keys which enable words to appear on the screen, and then I post for you to read. Today, as I get ready to write what I want to write – no, that’s not accurate – I don’t want to write it, I think I NEED to write it. Today, my fingers literally stop. Then I decide to change the subject in my head and they move again. Then I think about writing what needs to come out and they simple stop again.
How do I write it? How do I let the world know what I’ve realized with a blinding flash of horror? It’s actually not the world that concerns me. It’s the few people in the world who know me personally and read this blog. Those are the ones that stop my hands, especially those who know me well.
One of the things that has happened since I’ve committed more to writing is that I’ve become more aware of the audience. Of you. I sometimes think of the individuals who I know are reading because they tell me personally about their reaction to what I’ve written. And that’s created a different dynamic. I used to write for me. Now, I find myself writing very much aware of my audience. That’s both good… and hard.
I recently met with an author, Al DeCesaris, who graciously offered to spend time with me talking about how he self-published a book. He’s a really amazing guy who devotes his life to raising funds and awareness for his niece who is affected by Sturge-Weber Syndrome. I told him I wish he’d consider writing his next book about the family dynamic when a kid has disabilities. It’s tough. And that’s all I’ll write about that topic for now because I know they read my blog, and I’m not willing to go there now. Don’t even ask.
I am willing to try to share this big realization though. I just need to figure out how to get it out of my head – my heart and soul really – to my fingers through the keyboard , to the screen and onto my blog.
Dare I do it?
One of the things Al suggested to me was to read Stephen King’s book, On Writing. It is absolutely fantastic. I devoured it! He writes about how the first draft is for the author and the rewrite is for the audience. That’s probably how I shifted from writing for myself to becoming aware of my audience. And as that awareness has grown, it makes it harder for me to write what I feel I need to put out there.
Of course, now that I’ve written all the words you’ve been reading without actually getting to the confession, the confession will probably be a let-down to you, the reader. That’s unfortunate. It’s still a big confession to me even if all this writing in the middle of it has built it up to you so much that when I actually write the words, they will be small in your mind as you receive them.
Trust me – they’re huge to me. And scary. And evidence I’m not the mom a lot of people think I am. So it’s like a double confession – the actual act, which in this case is really an omission of action, and the reality that you’ll see that I’m not the mom you may think I am. And then there is a third layer, too. For this confession has to do with my faith. Again – something that people tell me they admire about me. Yikes! So, the real pain of the confession is that I’ll show you someone who doesn’t live up to your expectations. Well, I’m simply going to let that go.
I was taught by my abundantly creative mom what it really means to have faith as a mustard seed. She had the kids in our Sunday School program put a mustard seed in a shrinky dink and melt it into a necklace we could wear around our necks as a reminder that we only needed this much faith. Have you ever looked at a mustard seed? Go to the spice aisle and do it. They’re small, yes. They’re bigger than you think, though! And that leads me to the fourth layer of this confession. I’m not sure I have that much faith. Because if I did, I don’t think I would have stopped writing what I’m trying to tell you.
So there. I’ve confessed all the layers and shown you my underbelly and fear and vulnerability. Well, OK, not really because I haven’t written the words. I’ve written a bunch of words related to this confession. The actual words of the confession haven’t worked onto the keyboard yet. I can tell they’re trying to come out though because my hands are slowing down to type this part. They realize I’ve danced around the confession about as much as I probably can and still have you continue to read.
Like I said, it’s not going to seem so big to you after all this build-up. And maybe that should make it easier for me to write it. Stop. My hands just stopped moving. Clearly it’s not any easier for me to type it. But sometimes you just have to jump – having faith that the net will appear. So, I guess if I write it, maybe that proves I have at least that much faith. Maybe that’s not so bad.
So, here goes…
Really? Again? Come on hands. Stretch. Breathe. Just put it out there. It’s not that big of a deal. Just type what your brain has realized.
Oh, right. It’s more than your brain. It’s your heart and soul. That’s true. I think a confession from the soul is probably more authentic anyway. So, just type it. The world will not end. I promise.
Geez. Maybe you can think about it like this. Maybe something great will happen if you just put it out there. Maybe someone will pick up the weight and free your soul. Did you ever think about that? Maybe… So push through the stop. Do those things you tell other people to do. Do that thing that scares you. Just keep typing and let it come out without any thought. Your fingers are flying now, let them keep flying.
OK! Here goes…
I’m not praying for Catherine.