Friday, April 19, 2024

Clouds that Form a Hurricane

It'll storm later today. A spring rain. April showers and all that. The dark clouds are moving in. It feels a little like dusk although it's 6 o'clock in the morning. 

For some reason this week, I've been seeing a lot of social media posts about how little people read. (BTW, thanks for reading this; readers get so little recognition these days.) This has me thinking about how difficult it can be to carve out time to read and to write. The pressures on daily survival surmount my best intentions to give writerly pursuits the time of day. And, yes, it doesn't help to see posts about how few of us take time with a book. Why bother writing one?

The last book I read literally was blown from my hands. A few weeks back, I downloaded an ebook on my phone to pass the time on a two-hour plane ride. The story -- a whodunit detective story with a female protagonist -- was kinda outside my normal genre of choice (literary). I'll come back later here and put the name of the title and author (Unbreakable Bond by Gemma Halliday and Jennifer Fischetto). I was impressed by the hooks. Good character development, an intriguing storyline, not too heavy of a subject, and no grotesque violence. Then the plane hit turbulence -- my phone flew up out of my hands and landed in the aisle one seat behind. It was the kind of turbulence that has a person clutching your seat mate's hand without the benefit of introductions. It was terrifying and was an exclamation point to two very difficult weeks.

I'm not a praying person, but that didn't stop me. Wouldn't it be a shitter if life had come to a screeching halt just then? Leave my parents and kids behind? Shudder to think. When I got off the plane, I literally looked white and wanted to fall prostrate on the tarmac (we actually walked across it to get to the terminal). I'd like to say that the experience shook me so much that I re-evaluated my entire life. It didn't. People do that, you know. Have life-changing experiences from trauma or fright. What I've found is that it isn't one event that turns me. It's the clouds that gather and eventually form a hurricane. 

Lately, there are just so many clouds. The world is fraying, and the uncertainty and cruelty and disconnect turn my stomach. Sad situations on every channel. What is the answer? To do something inward? Make peace with yourself, cultivate Zen? Or make an outward motion? Run for office, raise money for charity, hell, start a charity. What I should do is go back to writing. I have no conceit that it makes anything better except that it does. It does with me. And I'll give money. To people and animals. I'll continue to love. My family and friends and cats and sweetheart. And, I'll write, plant seeds of hope and identity, here and elsewhere, and tell it like I see it.