It’s past midnight in the early hours of the first day of November. I’ve made a quick decision to fire up the blog again and join in with NanoPoblano this year. I’d been dithering over it for a few days.
I was looking back when I signed up on how many years I’ve taken part. I haven’t always managed to finish or do every single day. I’ve managed four years in a row since 2016. But I do enjoy the feeling of being part of the community, a concentrated nexus of creativity. My thinking is, I may find it healing to focus on something for myself, as part of a community.
It’ll be gentle, though. I’m not promising something in-depth or even interesting every day. This year has taken a lot out of all of us for various reasons. I’ve barely been able to write. There’s a lot to tell and also not a lot to tell. Time has been odd. The year seems stretched, longer. January feels years ago. And yet, it’s already two months until 2021.
Here though, I count the small joys. The gratitude for being alive. It’s no longer dramatic to answer ‘How are you?’ with ‘I’m alive.’ But how do you get to a place of not merely being alive, but of thriving? What are those things that make me, still, glad to be alive? Even when every single day, it seems as if there’s another fire burning somewhere in the world.
It would be easy to be jaded and cynical. But that’s not how I am, not naturally, at least. I’ve changed so much in a year. For one, I’m finally having therapy. With a deaf therapist. I’ve only had three sessions so far (on Zoom, of course), and it’s been hard to start unpacking the layers.
But I’m optimistic that it will help my state of mind and help me see my way forward again. I like my therapist, and it’s good to be working with someone who understands the particular set of challenges that face a deaf person.
I’ve noticed that writers I know seem to be experiencing one of two states at the moment. They have either thrown themselves into writing and creating, as an escape or as something therapeutic, whilst others are experiencing a state of frozen stasis, unable to write at all, or at least not much. Either of those states is fine. I’ve been frozen, but I’m thawing.
Part of me is afraid to write because there’s a lot I have to say. On my mind. A lot of grief, too. Sometimes, as I’ve often felt before, words don’t seem like enough. But maybe it’s our gift as writers to find the words. Even if they take a long time to arrive.
*Sign up for NanoPoblano here.
‘A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.’– Susan Sontag