I’ll admit much of what I’ve written this week (early rising and not being consistent, oh my) may seem negative in nature. It’s actually not. It would be if I were to just write about it and not doing anything about my own roadblocks that I create for myself. But that’s not my plan here.
My plan is to push through all of that crap.
And, oh boy, is that crap uncomfortable. You better believe it.
Growth is uncomfortable.
Birth is uncomfortable.
Uncertainty is uncomfortable.
This is why so many don’t respond to the deep-down hum that thrums and vibrates at the core of every human. This is that vibrating force that tell us, “YES! THAT IS IT!” when you experience something so true to your nature that it is what calls to you and what is your purpose. This is your soul speaking, the ever-existent consciousness of you.
But there is no shortcut. No quick ride. This is a train across the landscape of the mind; no shuttles or flights available. That train has many stops, and you need to get off at every goddamn one of them, experience the landscape, smell it, bask in its snow and its dire heat and hate it to love it. Then you hop back on that train, which — ha ha ha! — you’re actually driving, and continue on.
Photo: Upsplash via Pixabay.
And where exactly does this train lead?
Well that depends. I can’t tell you that. Only you can. I know where I want to steer it. But I also am cognizant of the fact that what I find at the end of the route (which really isn’t an end, it’s a turning point), will most likely not look like what I’m envisioning. It will be some mirage of what I expect, it will resemble what I visualize, fully-equipped with the power of it all. But yes, it will probably look different.
Because we are different following a growth spurt. We’ve felt the pain of it, we’ve felt the grief of letting go of something, we’ve endured it and have found something new.
It’s raw, man. It’s fresh as hell. And because of that, it’s like an exposed root — a simple breeze will make that ache reach deep. But it’s what we’re made of and it’s what we’re here for. To learn and grow. This life, this existence, is a lesson, customized for each and every one of us at a level we can’t truly comprehend with our human minds. It’s truth. It’s golden, honest-born truth. And it is what lies at the light-filled core of that deep-down hum that I’m always babbling about.
But again, to experience this in full, we must respond to that sound calling us, and to do that we need to endure a plethora of uncomfortable experiences, each of which results in the shedding of a piece of what we were to reveal what we become. And that is how we evolve. This is the butterfly realm, of course.
For me? I have a book I’m about to start once I finish this manifesto I’m working on. The book is a novel, it’s fiction, it’s a book about grief and loss and the light that lies in the core of all that pain. This is a book about what I’ve felt in the wake of my brother’s sudden and quite tragic death on a long-ago Thanksgiving night. That part is true. The story I write will be inspired by what happened during this and what happened after, but it will not be the same, as-it-happened story. Why am I fictionalizing this?
Because I need to bring it to a different level, and I’ve felt, since it happened, that I’ve needed to write it as a fictionalized account. There will be truths here, laden like weeds everywhere throughout. But it will be a different story.
I’ll say it again: This particular story is not about my brother’s death. It’s about rebirth in the wake of grief. This is something I’ve been working on for the better part of a decade (he’s been dead now 13 years). I’ve started it maybe two or three times, but I’m approaching it new once again and for the final time because the time has come to finally get this thing out. And to get this finished, I need to experience the uncomfortable raw pain of grief to tell this story, but I’m going to do it. Because that’s what calls to me and what has called to me and what I’ve ignored for a long time.
I don’t believe any story is really easy to tell or write. Some may flow more easily than others, and I know of authors who have written life-changing works within really short time frames (The Alchemist and On the Road come to mind). But even in those instances, even when such writers have had those stories in them, I can’t imagine the realization of those books came without any level of discomfort or pain. That is part of the beauty of it.
I am not saying we need to suffer to create art — don’t misunderstand me. I’m simply reiterating that age-old notion that pain is inevitable, but suffering isn’t. We can use our pain and discomfort and lean into it without suffering. In fact, to avoid the pain is to suffer. It’s a complete paradox.
That is what brings about the purest sense of writing. Tell the tale, face the fear of it, the pain of it, and let it flow onto the page. That pain is, of course, often accompanied by joy and beauty and a feeling of excitement, making it all worth pursuing. I’m doing this too, it’s not easy work work, but as writers, this is what we’re called to, what we know we must do.