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  • Writer's pictureDiana Fletcher

This is Me Trying to Write

I feel understood by Jane!

With the shutdown of the country came the shutdown of my writing.

I have published exactly two blog posts and one magazine article since THE PANDEMIC. That is not a great amount. Everything else I start to write seems so trivial or else so horrible that it would take pages to delve into even one particular subject out of so many.

Today, I opened a new document to make yet another attempt at creativity and inspiration, with perhaps a dash of wit. This is me, trying to write.

I sip my coffee and stare at the page. What do I feel right now? What feelings do probably millions of us share? Can I help myself and other people with the feels? Can we connect with hope instead of hate?

I look at the little scraps of papers onto which I have my scribbled notes, sentences and ideas. I copy the notes into documents. I do this a lot: begin documents and leave them, all with only a few lines on them.

I drink more coffee. Surely that will give me energy to write what I am really feeling about this, the pandemic, the isolation for many and the businesses closing. People losing jobs as they strain to meet the demands of family and home. The horror that was the murder of George Floyd. That day the already tilted world became more skewed.

Did you feel it? Could it be the tipping point? That was the day, we, as a nation, had to face our country’s deep-seated racism in the ugliest way imaginable. And many, many of us felt a burning anger and said "enough." Enough.

That gives me hope.

There continue to be protests and I think this is also a hopeful sign. This time we will not forget. I will not forget. So many people are coming together to demand equality for others. Finally fighting for others instead of fighting against the changes that need to be made.

I could write about that, but there are so many people who are on the front lines, I feel that they are the ones we need to listen to. I want to read what they write.

Since I am “of an age” it is probably not a good idea to be in crowds, even with a mask so I protest in my own way. I feel responsibility for so much, and I embrace the idea of finally doing something to make a difference as an antiracist. I could write about how I am doing my part to support Black Lives Matter and all the vulnerable people out there in as many ways I can think of each day. I could share how it helps me to help others. I could write about that, but it would seem to me to be mere virtue signaling.

I could write reviews about all the books I have been reading such as So You Want to Talk about Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy and Waking Up White by Debby Irving.

I subscribe to Yes! Magazine and I have learned so much. Are you on a similar journey to learn what we need to do as a nation, to heal? Because that’s what we need to do. I want us to heal. I step forward to take responsibility to help us heal.

It’s not that I have lost my creativity completely. I am creative with other tasks. I have organized, decorated and painted during the pandemic. I have hobbies and housework. I like projects; anything to distract me from what is going on.

Are all of you distracting yourself like I am?

I think about all the time we have spent in our homes, some of us for over 200 days. I could write about how that feels when everything changes so quickly. That is something we all share. The mixed up, up and down feelings, sometimes depression, sometimes not caring at all... another experience we share is also confusion.

I spend time on Twitter then I can’t look at any news for days or weeks at a time. That’s part of my self-care. Take breaks as often as I need to and for as long as I need to.

Oh and my sleep. This is major self-care. I make sure I sleep as much as possible at night. Yes, this does require the use of medication sometimes, but I truly don’t care. When I sleep, I don’t think about the pandemic, murders, the election or the horrible events happening in so many cities.

Anyone else out there really treasure sleep when you get it?

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you have days where you just can’t figure out what to do or even if it matters if you do anything? And those people who accomplish stuff seem both alien and amazing?

I make it a point to laugh as much as possible. I watch funny movies, I look for funny jokes and silly stuff on Pinterest. I talk to friends who are funny. Should I write about that? I don’t know anymore. Sometimes I think I don’t even know what the hell is going on. How can I write with surety when nothing feels permanent?

I’m tired of being on high alert all the time. Aren’t you? I use stress reducing techniques: Breathing deeply, resting, eating foods that are good for me, except when I don’t. Message: We need to do our best.

So what does that mean? How do we do our best when we are so unsure? We take responsibility.

Take responsibility for something. Step up.

  • Read. Listen. Educate yourself.

  • Vote.

  • Treat others how you want to be treated.

  • Watch how you speak about people. Is the word hate often in your vocabulary? Why not eliminate that word?

  • Learn how you can help vulnerable people who are experiencing harassment.

  • If you have more than enough, donate to food banks and shelters.

  • Volunteer if you are able.

  • Reach out to people who are alone.

  • Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Social Distance when you can.

  • Take responsibility for your life and your next steps.

  • Take responsibility for our world and other humans.

  • Take responsibility for taking care of yourself.

We will survive and I absolutely believe that if we do this together, one step at a time, we can heal.

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is,

but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked.

In a word, each man is questioned by life;

and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life;

to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Please scroll down to leave comments. I would love to hear how and what you are doing!

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