This morning, in the wee hours of another inexplicable sleepless night, I perused writing programs online — post-bac certificate? MFA? PhD? Rejecting one after another — not in California, all the faculty and students on the website are white, takes too long, not worth it, potential waste of time — feeling crappier and crappier about the chances of me ever ending up where I want to be in my non-existent writing career.
I started writing about Tima’s birth, a story I have tried to write at least ten times in the past two years. I am consistently rendered mute in the face of such a powerful experience. Should some things be left unwritten? It was barely readable prose, so I abandoned writing this story to some other future wakeful night.
I began organizing my laptop’s desktop, which is as disorganized and messy as my actual desktop. Files are scattered all over the place, stacked on top of one another, of no help to me in a search emergency. It’s embarrassing. There must be a couple hundred icons there, minimum. Randomly, I double clicked on an untitled word document to open, name, and file it. I started to read to decide on a title, and couldn’t stop. It started with an excellently written paragraph on the crazy thing that is pregnancy and birth. Who wrote this? I must have copied this from some article online…
But what followed was a story I recognized as my own, one about Tima’s first day on earth. And then I realized: I wrote this. This is my good writing. I don’t recall writing it, but there it was, so tender and lovely, it made me cry. Turns out, I’m not a dried up, worthless writer who’s best writing is behind me. I wrote this after Tima was born, proof that motherhood has not sucked the marrow out of my creativity. Truth is, I just need to find the right path for me and the way my life is today. Which starts by writing more often. It may take me longer than I’d planned, but getting back on the road is the critical step right now.
I spend about 99% of my time ambivalent about whether or not there is a benevolent spiritual force in the Universe looking out for me. And then I am compelled to open an untitled file on my laptop, out of hundreds of others, and it is the only one I need to see. I am struck by how every once in a while, and sometimes when it matters the most, a Good Thing happens, and I can rest, for just a second or two, in that 1% of faith, just long enough to draw some strength and confidence for the next leg of the journey.