Working through the pain

I missed last week’s post because, surprise surprise, I didn’t get a lot of writing done. It’s hard to write when you’ve got family visiting.

But I’ve put myself to it the last few days of this week (it’s cathartic, writing about the things I’m feeling), and I’ve wrapped up my second piece for submission.

With the deadline coming up quickly, April 15, I now have to decide if I want to try for a third piece, along with naming my first two. I definitely need to read over them and check for spelling errors and any changes I want to make, but that’s the easy part. A third piece would mean buckling down this week and really carving out some time to write–not impossible, but difficult for me when I’ve got books and documentaries calling my name.

Not to mention I never fully fleshed out the third idea I had. But, maybe that’s something I could do quickly. And maybe that’s what will decide me.

In the meantime, here’s a little excerpt from my second piece, the main character explaining to a young boy how she ended up being the lighthouse keeper.

“When I was younger, my heart was hurt very badly. So I came here to be alone. I’ve been here ever since.”

“Don’t you get lonely?” he asked. “There aren’t many people around.”

She smiled. “Well, that’s why I came, at first. I was sad and people hurt me. Being alone wasn’t lonely, it’s what I wanted.”

“But now? Do you get lonely now?”

“I suppose I do sometimes,” she said. “But I’ve been here so long, it’s all I know how to do anymore. And no one else steps forward to do it. We can’t let the light go out.”

“Oh,” he said, screwing up his face in thought. “When I’m scared of trying something different, I think of how good it might be, and that helps me feel brave enough to try.”

“That’s a very good thought,” she said. “But I don’t stay because I’m afraid. What about all the people who come for help? Shouldn’t someone be here to take care of them?”

The boy shrugged. “Shouldn’t someone take care of you? My parents love each other lots, but my mom still complains if my dad doesn’t help out and take care of her sometimes,” he explained. “It makes sense to me. When I’m sad or scared, sometimes all I need is a hug from my mom, or a snack. But I never get better if I just stay by myself.”

That’s what I’ve been struggling with lately, isolating myself when I’m hurt. And it doesn’t get better, not truly better, if I just stay by myself. In the end, I have to open up and let someone come along side to help me heal. It’s hard and scary, especially when you’ve been hurt before. But, as Emmalyn is finding out, life is about more than finding a tolerable pain threshold.

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