Tumultuous times have a direct impact on my sense of purpose in writing. There doesn't have to be any actual interruption in my personal daily life...tragedy has such a long arm in our small world.
I have a drawer full of fiction, chapters that I've put tremendous work and heart into, that I haven't worked on since September 11, 2001. Fiction seemed a small voice in the aftermath days, and yet the subjects my characters faced were, albeit set in a different era, the same; clashing beliefs and cultures, losses in war, and love's journey through despair to hope.
I thought I would eventually pick things up and write on, and I may have, but health threats to my own life, healing time and then a new job that required moving and a new life style continued what I hope is only a hiatus.
While I work full time, and writing has to dance around both the duties and joys of daily life, I have been, in private journals and these two blogs that I have been scribbling, warming up to committing more time and energy to the life I find in writing and the giving to others it represents.
This week I recognized a familiar sense of chill deep inside myself as I watched the news reels of the devastation that shook, flooded and burned the island country of Japan which now struggles with the specter of possible nuclear power plant meltdowns.
I cannot dig through the rubble, or fly helicopters. My heart flies out though and then the creative processes get a busy signal. Yesterday I did some simple hand work, repairing some small cloth items. The calming effect was powerful. I was searching for that insulation that allows all that is to be acknowledged, no ignoring the great external heats of various dangers in the world, while keeping kindled a proactive awareness that while it is yet called today, I should do what I can in all the realms that speak purpose to me, despite the multiple dwarfing effects of events across the wide world. Yes, the axis of the earth has shifted yet again, but we must each keep our footing and press on.
As I sat here, typing up these little thoughts, just outside my window on the path into the forest, I heard a sharp crack and looked out to see a limb crashing down. It is just a small limb, but it fell perhaps 60 feet with little warning. One sharp crack and it crashed right where I walk from one house to the other. How glad I am that I was taking these few quiet moments to ponder what I allow to deter me from spending more time writing.