So many authors I read say they write because they have to get the words out, they just have to write or they feel off balance. I know people who say that about exercise, they just have to run. I know people that say this about painting, religion, business…passions need to be realized. It is almost as if you don’t realize the thing inside you that you are meant to do, then there becomes this unbalance. I have to write, even when all that comes out is just the shitty first draft kind of stuff. It works best to keep me in balance.
My little one turned nine this year. This once cheery child is now full of angst and unbalance. I am sure it is not a sudden thing, but it felt like a switch to me. The tween years are so tough on me as a Mama. I hate to see my little ones struggle their own personal struggles. Even though I have been through this two times already; I still went right to work as soon as my baby started to struggle. For this baby, after we tried all sorts of things, I handed her a journal. Write, I said. I told her this is one of Mama’s magical places.
We all learned once upon a time to sing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As adults, we know that is a load of crap. Words are powerful. Words can hurt, help, sooth, motivate, teach, heal, entertain…on and on I could continue listing the power of words. Once they are released, their power is realized. But a blank page is magic. So turn to a blank page whenever the angst and the unbalance get to be too much and let the words go free.
Teaching my baby girl to turn to a blank page is like what Natalie Goldberg says in her book Writing Down the Bones “…the very beginning of learning to trust my own mind.” (p.2) Her words will teach her to look at all the angst and unbalance and see how it works out in the end. So, it was with great pride this morning that I read her personal narrative for school. She gets it. She wrote: “I know it can feel like a big emotional bubble of sadness and sometimes anger or loneliness and you seem to lose everything, and things get harder and harder than ever. But, I promise something good will come out of it.” She allows herself to feel the feels but in the morning the sun comes up and she is balanced again.