"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Acceptable loss

I had another topic in mind when I sat down to update this blog, all about writing the fantasy and querying agents and blah-di-blah-blah. But, hell, another of my writerly friends, Jean has died and she's the second one this year, along with my dearest Chrissie, and my childhood friend Mike, and 2020 sucks and I don't quite know what to do with all the feelings sometimes.

I need a room with a lot of pottery that I can throw against the wall.

Lacking that, I was reading through my writing prompts and happened upon this one that I know I wrote but don't remember picking out these words. It's like that sometimes--writing. You're scribbling along with great purpose and then you step into a dream.

Prompt: Write about acceptable loss.

What is acceptable about loss?

I lose my car keys--

   Unacceptable if I want to drive my car.

I lose my way along a road--

  Unacceptable if I want to reach my destination.

I lose a loved one--

  NO. Not acceptable, to never hear their laugh

  or feel their touch

  or inhale the scent that is only theirs.

  To be left with photos, things that are vulnerable to flood and fire and deletion from a cloud.

And yet--

Maybe one trip made on foot saves one piece of the planet.

Maybe the wrong road leads to new adventure.

And maybe the memories of loved ones ingrain themselves in my heart,

  my soul, so that I pick up where that one left off and make them a piece of me,

  like a beautiful patchwork quilt.

Loss is not acceptable. But I accept it.

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