Everlastings, It's Confession Time
Until things calm down, my 'soft writing' is on hold.
I’m just going to lay it out there: Vladimir Putin, a known murderous monster, is laying siege on Ukraine, a democratic country, and I can’t think of anything else until this is settled.
It’s no secret that I’m a political animal from way back; a Bambi-lover, a pacifist until you piss me off, a believer in equity and equality and the right to call out the stupid and the evil.
Writer Everlasting was supposed to be my respite, that place where I remove my political mantle and live and breathe as an ordinary writer, talking up the joys and concerns about writing. But today my heart is in my throat and my stomach is a dam about to let loose and every thought is about Ukraine, good, bad, or otherwise.
I know not everyone feels this way. I wrote about it at Constant Commoner on Friday and it went nowhere. My CC subscribers, it seems, don’t share my concerns, either domestic or abroad. I didn’t get a single comment. Not one. And a couple of subscribers went out the door, I’m assuming slamming it behind them.
I have to be okay with that. But at the same time, I have to ask myself, how much do I owe my subscribers? Writing a newsletter is still new for me. It floors me that at each of my newsletters, Constant Commoner and Writer Everlasting, more than a hundred people have agreed to allow me into their inboxes. I’m so grateful I admit I sometimes find myself holding back and writing for them (you) and not for me.
This was one of those times I wrote for me, and it was a bust. Will this change the way I write now, knowing what they don’t like? I hope not, but I don’t know.
For now, my heart is with those brave citizens in Ukraine. I wake up in the middle of the night with them on my mind. At 1 AM, at 4 AM, I’m checking Twitter, hoping all hell hasn’t broken loose while I slept. And when I see the Ukrainians are still in control, that they’re doing wild things like changing road signs to throw the Russians off, or giving Russian soldiers packets of sunflower seeds so when they die on Ukrainian soil flowers will grow on the spot, or telling young Russian prisoners, most of them confused about why they’re even there, that they should call their mothers to let them know they’re okay, I breathe. But not for long.
I’m crying as I write this. I’m a bundle of emotions and if you tell me I need to take a break I’ll have to tell you to go to hell. I need this. I have to do this.
Whenever this happens, I go hang out at Twitter, where I’m most comfortable, where I can preach to the choir, and they can preach to me. (If you tell me you hate Twitter, I’ll have to ignore you. I don’t care.)
I’ve tried reading light novels. I’ve gone through four of them in the last week and a half and found fault with every one. I read all but one to the very end. I skimmed that one, taking mental notes on how I would have fixed it, but it was a fleeting distraction. One of them, I admit, held my interest until the very end—which was more of a stop than an ending. The author didn’t know what to do with what he had left so he got all treacly, looking for sobs. A shame, because it wasn’t bad until then.
I binge-watched all four episodes of the second season of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and, yes, I’m hooked again. (OMG, Susie’s funeral speech!) But now I have to wait until Friday for more, so I’m back to stewing.
My way isn’t healthy. I know that. It’s far from professional, but there it is. How much time should I give to those things I have no control over? Why do I think I have to try to save the world? Don’t I know by now it’s a foolish quest and I’m not the one who’s going to do it?
I’m not asking these questions in order to find answers from you. These are questions for my journal and, if I have any sense about me, that’s where this entire piece would go. But this is as close to real writing as I can get right now. I’m sorry.
If you’re here looking for writing wisdom from this long-time writer, this ancient who should have it all together by now, surprise! I’m human. I’ll get back to the basics sometime soon, but for now, this is who I am. This is where I am.
So how are you? How are you handling life as we know it today? Does any of it enter into your own writing, or can you distance yourself and go on following your usual path? I’m guessing you’re all far more disciplined than I am. And yet you’ve read this to the end. I don’t care if you’re shaking your head as you read it. I do care that you’re still here. I love that about you.
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