Saturday, February 4, 2012

On writing

Once upon a time, there was me, stuck in some tiny town, miserable.  And out of nowhere there was a ray of light when I heard about a high school with a dorm (because my perfect cousin had gotten in, and I clearly could do anything she did, right?).  This was a Tuesday, I am sure, because then time was told according to my mother's skewed clock and it was perpetually Tuesday.  3 years of Tuesday.  In less than 10 days there was an application deadline, so I rounded up stuff I'd written and sent it in on a whim, figuring I had at least given it a shot.  I'm not sure I told anyone I was applying.

In the realm of fate, here's where I'm sure: that on the drive to the interview I somehow magically got, I heard a new song on the radio and loved it. When I arrived the current students were singing it quietly to each other, then louder and louder until the hall echoed and someone popped out from behind a closed door to just glance at them, resulting in a giggle fit.  Leaving I was sure I'd get in, but I wasn't sure I would go.  Then things at home went from a mess to a fiasco and I was sure I'd go, so I did.

I spent a year just writing, then most of a half a year writing before I moved into editing and not being able to write.  It felt like a part of my soul was missing, so I took some college classes to try and get it back.  I read some amazing books and met some cool people, but I was so distracted with life spinning out of control and me desperately clinging to any old thing I could grab that I missed out on listening to what I was called to do with myself.

So here I am, with this blogging project, a million miles from that moment where I trusted my intuition even if I didn't trust myself.

And here I am, trying to wrap my head around a part of me I was sure was dead and gone but as it turns out was growing sneakily while I looked the other way.  So while the goal was/is/probablywill be to stay in the realm of life, you may have to suffer through some fiction now and again.  Fair warning officially given.

I was thinking about how stories have such a different quality and different meaning when they are about health and healthcare.  Before, it didn't matter if a story was the truth, it mattered if it was true.  Tim O'Brien said of war stories that "It comes down to gut instinct. A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe."  If someone rattled on for 20 minutes about the awful car accident they were in, and how much pain they are in now, and all that jazz before, it was a story and the story had its own life.  Now as I move toward being a pharmacist, the story can't ever be a story that's true in that same gut-punching way that has nothing to do with the facts.  I don't get to listen to the whole story anymore, I just ask for the facts and please leave out the entire saga because there are 14 other people who have questions and concerns that I need to deal with right now.

Hopefully in the long run, some of the truth of life can catch what's true in a different light so I can see it again.

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