I can’t write

15 May

As many of my regular readers will know my husband currently has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.  Now, I don’t really want to go into detail here about chemotherapy, its physical and psychological stresses and strains, this is not really the time or place.  However I do want to talk about how it has effected my writing.

Whenever I have found myself under stress, particularly of the psychological kind I have always found poetry an excellent release.  The poetry I have written at these times has not always been good, if I am truly honest with myself at times it has been god awful. The difference this time appears to be that I just can’t write.  But this time it isn’t the type of writers block that you normally hear about, an issue I have addressed before in a guest post for one of my favorite poetry blogs One Night Stanzas.

I can write, I do so often for my job.  I can write copy, and reports and briefings and essays.  I recently completed a poem for the Red Squirrel Press, Grand Central Station Project, but any poetry that is actually about me appears to be impossible at the moment.  On analysis it appear that it is something within the actual act of writing poetry itself, rather than the situation I am that hampers me. I think that expressing myself, however ineptly I do it, through poetry has been a way of understanding and to a certain extent controlling my emotions.  Now I find myself in a situation that nothing can prepare you for.  As wonderful and heart warming as the support and love that everyone has expressed is, I still ultimately feel adrift.  A pen is a rudder, and at this moment, in this sea, I don’t know how to use it.  I have always believe that really good poetry is honest, brutally so.  I have felt that if you are not truly honest with yourself about a situation then you can not write poetry about it.

Ned is still going through chemo, unfortunately this week we have had news that although his recovery has been good it is not quite what would have been expected.  Therefore the Consultant is brining out the big guns which means more drugs, more side effects, more invasive medical procedures, more strain and less of the man, and father, I know and love.

All I can conclude is that maybe in the future I might be able to write about this period in my life.  I do believe that time gives us the sort distance that is needed to really see thing as they are.  However just now I feel frustrated that the one thing I have always found as a cathartic release, at this point appears to be beyond me.  Maybe, it needs to be so.

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3 Responses to “I can’t write”

  1. elizabeth rimmer May 16, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    When things are too big and too close you can’t see them or say what they are. In this state I clean things. Something really grimy involving elbow grease and wire wool. I hope things improve soon. pax et bene

  2. Dr. Tom Bibey May 16, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    I’m a doc. I saw a lot of suffering along the way. Sometimes the only way I could deal with it was to write. Good luck on your journey, and I hope your husband’s treatment is very sucessful.

    Dr. B

  3. sally evans May 24, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    dont worry about the writing Mairi. It will come back when it is ready, and you will be strengthened by writing you have already done. When someone I knew was very ill they didnt write, they said “Dont be silly” when I asked if they were writing, but I thought I would have written myself through it. On the other hand there are sometimes times when things are going so well and fast in your life that you do not write — life comes first, writing after, even for the most dedicated.
    best wishes for it all.

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