What an incredibly exhausting weekend. Just when I think that 2020 or May or luck is on the upswing, life can jerk us back to reality, whether that’s a reality we embrace or some strange new curtain that settles over our eyes and lives like a suffocating, slimy film of an unmentionable/difficult to imagine, substance. In the midst of a crisis, I’ve seen a community of people come together in ways that bring tears to my eyes in gratitude and flares of hope in these confusing times (saving horses from a brush fire, bringing feed for the horses and food for the many volunteers, free hotel rooms to those who lost their homes, free food to those displaced, etc.). The flip side of that coin is destructive criminal behavior that destroys communities, and also brings tears to my eyes.
I used to explain that one reason why I write is to understand. My words are a way I wrestle with life experiences. I put characters in certain situations to figure out why they do what they do, hoping to make the transference to real people. By having my characters display as many aspects of the human condition as I can create, it helps me to work through so much of what I don’t understand about being human. When I observe people and their behaviors, I try to understand what drives them. Sometimes I can figure it out, other times I can’t. And I suppose that might be due to my own lack of grappling with parts of being human. A friend once told me she couldn’t create the art we were looking at in a downtown gallery because she just didn’t possess enough angst to paint that way. I think there will always be pieces of the human condition that will be beyond my comprehension because I haven’t felt it, or if I have, I’ve channeled it differently…and maybe that’s because my life experiences aren’t the same, or my values/morals (wherever they came from) refuse for me to consider taking certain actions. And maybe my writing can still help me understand, even if I don’t partake in the same emotions and conclusions and reasons for taking actions as others.
And now it’s June 1. A Monday. I’m safe in a house. My girls are safe in their barn. The high heat is backing off slightly. I’ve been reminded why I don’t watch hours of news unfolding on the TV or social media. We talk about self-care, and part of that is being aware of what we consume in all forms, not just what we put in our mouths. I wanted to do an online yoga class today, and there’s still time for me to do that. I’ll be working on those final edits in the flash fiction project so I can make that available to people who want my newsletter. I have a friend’s story to beta read. I have a couple of reviews to post on Goodreads, an audiobook to return to the library, things to do that bring me peace. And if I can’t create peace for myself, then I’m no good at helping peace expand in this world, or understanding more of what makes humans tick, or offer readers a safe escape and the opportunity to investigate the complicated and multi-layered condition of being human.
Be safe. Be kind. Be love.