Whatever that bug is inside me to press on, I've realized through many trials of real life, that I don't want to put aside the battle just yet.
Most of you know about my three year journey with cancer. That wasn't a super fun time. And it put a serious dent in my writing progress (it's tough to type while throwing up ginger cookies). But it shaped me and changed me and taught me things about life—and death—that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. And on the other side, it's only made me a better artist, a better writer, and more importantly, a better person. The struggle strengthens us and hones us, like the caterpillar trying to emerge from its cocoon.
Recently I've had another bout with reality when my father spent two weeks in ICU. My dad is my best friend—he's always been my comforter and my partner in crime. And to see him so weak and helpless, the man who's my hero and can fix anything, it's sent me spinning. I thought my own bout with death was difficult… this is a million times harder. He's been ill for a quite a while and the cause of his illness still remains a mystery. I've tried to ignore what's coming down the road for all of us, with my dad so sick, but I'm realizing I can't pretend anymore.
This all comes at a pivotal time in my writing life. A time when there's a lot of work to be done and my creative energy feels muddy and full of holes. For a time I've had to live fully in reality—not just a toe—and it's very painful. But isn't LIFE what we want to mimic?
How can we paint stories that impact or reveal the beauty and pain of life if we never experience it ourselves?
Adversity shapes us. It molds us and teaches us. We learn truth and we experience The Spark.
And we can know that when we finally emerge from the cocoon we'll be able to say we've lived.