A full season has passed since I last posted on our travels. I’d apologize if I were sorry, but I’m not. I’ve done some traveling of a different sort over the months since we lost our baby and I wasn’t ready to share that here.
I won’t bore you with platitudes or inspirational quotes made for memes and re-posts about how everything will work out or get better or how change is always for the best. Worthless drivel has no place when you’re faced with things that are truly heartbreaking. No one hears one of those sentences and genuinely feels changed. It’s not an instantaneous thing. It’s work.
I had been writing my (now out on submission) novel the night before everything went pear-shaped. It was a difficult section to write: my character had just endured pages of an abortion and its physical aftermath but what she was saying had nothing to do with that. When I came back to the document a few days later in an (failed) attempt at normalcy, this was the paragraph that greeted me:
I read it a dozen times. Not its beginning, but its end. Nothing could fix what we were going through, nothing could make it feel less than it was. Knowing that – and knowing that I already knew it – was comforting, but it didn’t fix anything.
I didn’t write that day or the day after, or the next week. It wasn’t because I couldn’t write. I could write. I could always write – just ask the scribbles on the shower door or the scrawled marks on the floor next to the bed where the pen went off the notebook in the middle of the night. It was because an aching melancholy covered my words and words like that didn’t belong on a pink-coated travel blog talking about the stifling humidity of New Orleans. Words that thick and sticking belonged in a novel, in the novel that just happened to be on my desktop. I dove into the muck headfirst, waded through my own experience, and came out with something much lighter than my heart.
It was work – some days it still is – but not all the words shrug off pink anymore. Some of them even embrace it.
– M. Ray Hall
P.S. Yes, this is my way of saying I’ll be posting again soon.