Monday, October 3, 2011

anger: six months

If you're looking for my Rosh Hashana post, you might want to try last year's. I'm not doing much stock-taking of the spiritual kind, this year; I'm finding when I turn to Gd, I run into a solid wall of my own anger. So I'm...not.

Instead, some navel-gazing of a different kind.

"It's no help to know this is a beautiful portrait of grief", Jody wrote me three months ago. But it does help, actually.

Last summer I had the extreme pleasure of talking to Julie about why she blogged, and to Anna H. about why she didn't. If I'm not wildly misquoting them, Anna said at one point, Does it help you make sense of things? and Julie said, Yes. Definitely.

But I remember thinking: No, it doesn't. Not for me. I'm never sure I'm making sense, before or after writing. In fact I think I always assume, in the back of my mind, that I might look back on what I wrote a year ago and completely disagree with it.

It's probably one reason I don't look back, too often. It might even be one reason I took down my old blog.

So what am I in this for?

When I started talk therapy, years and years ago, my therapist asked me at the first session: Do you know why we do this? I was a psychology grad student at the time, so you'd think I would have had an answer ready. But I just blundered around, till she took pity on me and said: Because if we talk about it, we might find a pattern. And it can be a comfort to say, Ah. I recognize this. This kind of thing has happened to me before.

Maybe that is 'making sense of things', in a way? I don't know. I don't really see it that way. I think it's just that my overwhelming confusion is a little less hard to take, when I can...find a thread to follow my way through. When I can find a voice, in telling my own story.

So I do that. With the funny things I'm confused about, sure, but especially with the painful things: I try to tell those, not in prose, but in poetry. Because I can't stop it from happening; I can't understand why it had to happen; but…if it's a story, instead of just a series of senseless events, maybe it will turn out to have its own coherence.

And if I can wring some beauty out of ugliness - yes, there is a small solace in that. I'll take it.

I guess it's a very old instinct. No matter how powerless we humans are, we can still scrawl a defiant mark on the wall. Persephone was here in '11. This is my voice. This is my story.


projgen said...

And a lot of us can relate to different parts of your story or your feelings, and that makes us feel less alone in this big ol' desolate place, and if one person nods in understanding to at least some aspect of your story then maybe that's enough for now?

Lut C. said...

Making sense and finding a small measure of solace, that sounds like a good reason to talk.

Tine said...

You wring beauty out of everything, P...not just ugliness. I hope you'll keep writing publicly for a long, long time.

eggsinarow said...

You are in my thoughts, always. And just so you know: her memory is definitely a blessing, your love for her spills with every word. Shana tova!