Pains of Writing

I found this article on Ezine Articles.

As I read, I realise that these are the words that describe my own writing journey as well.

I love to write ever since I was a kid.

I remembered scribbling on papers using pens, pencils and even crayons.

This is also the reason why my dad gave me a lot of paper, to write and draw.

It has been more than a decade now and how I miss those days.

It was worth reading this article.

*****

The sun felt warm on my back as it slid through the tiny crack between the curtain and the cold wall. One thousand one… one thousand two… one thousand three… breathing… breathing… trying to remember what number I was on, as the contractions continually get harder. What a relief when the muscles finally do ease up.

Writing for me has been the same as labor. Your mind is continually moving, swirling with bits and pieces asking, “What’s next?” Then finally an idea pops into your head and your muscles relax for a minute or two. During those few moments, life flows like an emotional wave, thoughts being jotted down on that empty page.

Writing as a child in elementary school didn’t have much meaning due to the fact that I don’t remember my teachers’ ever writing or even my family members writing. My memory does travel to a warm quaint house on Washington Street to a small town in Colorado, to the stench of mothballs where my grandmother would sit at the large dining room table that was covered with a lacy tablecloth. She would peck one finger at a time on an old style typewriter that had white round finger pads each covered with a black letter. My sister and I didn’t ask what she was doing, we just seemed content to play to the solid stream of rhythm and beat of that old machine. As of a few years ago, this memory would be just that, a memory. Until my father handed me an old black tattered book that contained the imprints that my grandmother had been working on – Poetry. At that moment, I realized that she too loved poetry. She would sit for hours and meditate until finally the words would come to her. Then she would quietly walk to that table and gracefully sit with her back straight and tall against the hard wooden chair and type. She wouldn’t say anything to us. She just seemed to be in her own little world until something would bring her back to the present day, something like the sound of glass being dropped from a two-story window.

My sister and I didn’t mean to break one of those round orange plates that had a matching saucer and cup that were placed in the hide-a-way table that was pulled down for dinner. It was just an accident. Anyway, she would holler, “Mike, come get these girls out of here!” And in would run my grandfather, who would gently move us outside to help him water the peony bushes so that my grandmother could continue to work peacefully. My grandmother’s ideas seemed to flow as I searched through the pages that held her thoughts. Could this be where my writing interest began? It sure was not developed in high school or college. I do believe it began when I found comfort in a true friend that taught me the importance of journaling. Journaling has been a way to express myself without the fear of people rejecting or judging my thoughts. It opens my world where I can truly be myself and not someone that others want me to be. I am only keeping a record of my human existence for my one and only son. So that someday he can look back and feel the emotions that I did when I first opened that book that my grandmother so tenderly worked on.

When tragedies occur in life people have choices that have to be made. The choices I made were not all positive. On a bright sunny June morning, my now ex-husband and I lost our little girl, Taelor Rene. She was a full term stillborn, whom I felt move that same morning. Due to this loss and three miscarriages later, I choose to quit my life. I didn’t think anything mattered. I focused all my energies on my one precious little boy and on my teaching. My husband also displayed signs of hopelessness. We actually denied that we had problems due to the fact that we never discussed how we were feeling. A deep stage of sorrow, hopelessness, and grief that people generally go through during loss was something we both internalized. As the days, months, and now years have gone by my thoughts and emotions began to resurface when I taught a poetry unit to my first graders. I found comfort and peace in my writing and in the teaching of my writing through this unit. It’s funny how easy the verses came, one right after another and then the title: Heaven

Excited at the thought, a new one will be here. Anticipating the arrival, Preparing the room. Intensely searching for movement, Heartfelt joy, with every pain. The moments come, saddened, no heartbeat. No school days. No friends to have over. No first dates. No wedding. No future. Only the knowing, She is free!

The internalizing that I choose began to come out of me as words of sorrow, hopelessness, and grief that should have been expressed many years before. My writing was my avenue to bond with not only my little girl but to the deep emotions that were bottled up inside of me for so long. The writing I do is for me. It is my way of healing. I want to be able to discuss the hurt that life has and will give to me without hurting anyone else around me. I now can express my thoughts creatively. If people want to share in them, all they have to do is open up the book. If not, hopefully they too can learn to heal themselves by understanding what my family has and will continue to live with day after day.

As the breathing continues to get shorter and shorter the doctor exclaims, “One more push,” and with all your might you grab hold of a solid sound object, bearing down you do push. You push with everything that you have. As the tiny cries of that new born baby erupts throughout the room, you know in your heart that all the hard work and tears are well worth the pain.

Therefore, writing has been a form of healing that goes beyond words written on a paper, but a bridge to acceptance.

Michelle David is a veteran elementary teacher, specializing in first grade. She has earned her master’s degree in the area of reading. She loves the area of creative writing and loves to share this same love of writing with the students in her classroom!

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