Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Someday I will stop writing about the hospital, but not today.

In the meantime, I listened to a speaker yesterday, Mike Stavlund, who said we don't really get over grief, we just learn to integrate it in our lives. Make the fragments part of a--still fractured--whole. His grief is incredibly different then mine. I'd say worse but he told us not to do the whole comparison thing. So I'll keep writing, I suppose.

Here is what is making me write today:

When my parents loaded me in the car to limp our way up the East Coast to Silver Hill--to Connecticut, where everything was going to be alright so why did it feel like I was dying of choking on half-formed words--I asked if we could stop by the post office and pick up a roll of stamps. I used those stamps to send letters from the hospital, letters on yellow legal pad paper, letters to everyone I could think of to write letters to. To folks at MVS and to the AU community and to Dumbarton and to friends from high school and college. I scribbled in my journal--gold, gold, gold, the trees are all gold, and the birds that are in them also--and wrote furiously cramped letters and quoted Rilke and Thurman and Nouwen and Kathleen Norris and I don't know when the words stopped pouring out of me but somehow when I got home from Silver Hill things weren't all better but the words had dried up.

And I say all this to say that I am down to just three stamps on that roll, having just used one to send off a massive check to pay for the psychological assessment I have to have done for the ordination process. Maybe I'll use the rest of my hospital stamps for some similarly ironic purpose.

And I say all this, also, to say that I am staking out a claim made of words for myself, again. Lent started that process, hopefully. I'm not saying I'll write everyday, or even every week. I'm not setting a timeline. But I am tackling this fractured process of writing again. Because in my journal from that painful journey I wrote, again and again:

Thank God I still have words. Thank God I can still write.

No comments:

Post a Comment