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Choosing to Survive

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Back from a long radio silence. I had to take time out to recover from my diary transcription project. In May, around my birthday, I decided it would be “fun” to go through 42 years of diary entries and compile a series of narratives, Amy Hempel style.

Like diary writing, some of her paragraphs exist as thought clouds, distinct bubbles—yet by the end of the story she has something whole. I found one story in particular frustrating. I wanted a resolution.

She told of waiting for the results of her pregnancy test at age 50—after being raped.

The intruder couldn't get it up. She told him to stay. It's enough that you're here, she said. He put down the knife and broke into tears with his face against her neck. She felt him get hard against her thigh.

I wanted to know more and turned the page and it was about something else entirely. I suppose there is no easy resolution to rape. Survival. It’s not easy. Subject changed.

My journals are filled with writing advice:

Don’t hold back on the first draft. Be courageous. When you’re bored go deeper. Allow a free fall. Write from the intuitive. Lose control. Surrender to the page. Be still as necessary. Write as if you’re dying.

Ask your characters dangerous questions…when is the first time you saw death? What lies do you tell yourself? Look for the doors. Go through. Don’t let the character look away. Look long at what pleases you. Look longer still at what causes pain.

This is why I love painting. I love having written, but sometimes it’s like pulling a rope through my eye socket.

About two-weeks into my diary transcription project, my housemate mentioned I wasn’t myself.

That’s because I was re-living the old me and it was no fun at all. All the rage…sibling jealousies, corporate resentment, pettiness, sorrow and head-butting. All the frustration about WTF we’re all supposed to be doing here, anyway. All those wounds and all that wounding.

Story material?

There’s a hypothesis I subscribe to: Before we come to Earth, our divine selves have a powwow with our Guides and our familiars and the entire soul group has a strategy session about what we want to learn here on Earth.

We write our own story.

The more I learn to go with the flow of my higher self —the funny, unflappable fearless self—the happier my narrative becomes. I'm intent on writing a happy ending.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be plot twists.

Survival isn’t easy.


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