Friday, August 23, 2013



“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.” 
–Leonard Bernstein

Ben is a healing superstar. He is so incredibly strong. Good spirited, sweet. I can’t get over how well he looks, how smoothly he moves, how charming he is in this hardest of hard situations. We had a whole crowd of cousins come over for a visit last night (several teens in that crowd) and he sat with them for hours eating pizza, laughing, joking around. I checked in with him a few times, knowing that he would not like to concede to exhaustion or pain, but might, in fact, be suffering. I ushered them into the house after a few hours (the longest he’d sat in a chair, indeed the longest he’d been upright since the surgery) and suggested he lie down on the comfy bed in my aunt and uncle’s bedroom, while the other kids lounge and chat with him there. Even when they left at 10pm he didn’t look worn out. Happy visits are good medicine. But he did sleep for 13 hours straight afterwards. That’s good for healing, too.

Sarah, Marissa, Ben and Corinne yak it up. Too much fun!
And for me, seeing their moms, my beloved Julie and Jody, was wonderful.

I’ve been wondering what I will write about now that Ben is done with his stream of surgeries. He suggested to me, when he overheard me saying this exact thing to my friend Barbara on the phone today, that he could contract a new disease. I think not.

What is the Muse? What is the urge to write? All those artists whose angst gripped them until they spilled their paints on canvas or wrote the lyrics to their heart-wrenching tunes…what is it about art and pain that flows together so well?

I can say that I just am someone who processes my troubles in words. Whether it’s on my blog or in a poem or in one of my messy art journals, words are spilling from me when I am full of worry or sadness or shame. I’ve definitely noticed, and you may have as well, that this blog is a little quiet in the in between times. When Ben is out of the hospital, or healing at home, in the past few years I haven’t spent much time writing here. Part of that is definitely due to time. When he is in the hospital or recovering I am closer to him, to home, to my computer. It’s also due to my need for emotional release.

A huge part of my experience on the blog is sharing my story with you, Dear Reader. Over the years, the feedback I’ve gotten in comments and private emails and likes or notes on Facebook have really warmed my soul. I love that I can touch your heart with my words. I don’t intend to move people to tears, but I know I do. And part of that is just Ben’s story in the raw. What could be more soul-wrenching than that kid’s story? But I also know it’s how I tell it.

That brings me to something I’ve been thinking about for a long while: publishing this story in a book. Over the years, many folks have suggested that I do that, but I haven’t felt that the story had a conclusion and without a conclusion I didn’t feel like I had a whole tale to tell. Now, with this last step taken I can see we are emerging from the tunnel and now feels like a natural time to wrap it up. I’m not sure if I’ll be looking for an agent and publishing the traditional way or choosing to self-publish. That’s a whole world I have only considered (with some trepidation, I’ll admit) from afar. It’s completely intimidating, honestly, to think about.

I plan to keep writing here but I’m really not sure what I’ll be writing about. This and that seems too fluffy, homeschooling feels like yesterday’s news, crafting and other pastimes are done and overdone all over the blogosphere. I need to figure out what moves the words out of me…and I suppose I will need to “develop an approach for the rest of the time.”

1 comment:

Kari said...

Susie, you write beautifully and that in itself is enough for your story to be told. I envision a second book as readers will want to follow Ben's story, and it could be one in which you enfold the strengths of your communities, esp. homeschooling :), teaching others about the various paths you've chosen (even choosing Shriners was a strike-out-on-your-own new path). You have so many tremendously strong people in your life, you choose them, you inspire them, you encourage people to be brave and you respect the strengths of others who may not recognize their own rare and valuable contributions. So you have much to share--though you may feel on-empty--and as you continue your journeys I would love to keep hearing your perspectives. Your bravery and honesty are bracing! When a writer can find the piercing beauty in the roughness of a gem, resisting the urge to polish off the residue of its history and cut geometrically perfect facets into it, one goes very deep. --Kari