Tuesday, October 18, 2011

at 1:09 AM I write this

My NaBlo posts are in the form of letters to my journal about my revision process. Along the way, I'll include Home-Made Revision Workshop posts, and my Friday Challenges.


Dear Journal,
I'm writing this at 1:09 AM. I'm usually asleep by now, but due to emotional shit storm, am unable to sleep. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it is fierce. I was just out on the back deck looking at the stars and listening to faint meowish noises that I think are raccoons. 
I decided that since I can't sleep I might as well write to you. 
I'm wondering if it is possible for me to take this emotional pain and transform it by using it in my novel.  As a meditater. I know that I can and should bring everything to the cushion. To not deny any emotion or perception I have but to transform it into the path of bodhi, is a basic instruction. 
The content of my anguish isn't of importance. I'm not going to air it here and I know that the content or the story that I tell myself about the content isn't the thing. The thing is that I know in a day or two I'll feel some relief from it. I know that every emotion, no matter how debilitating, has a beginning, a middle and an end. If it were elation I was feeling it would be the same thing - though probably I could sleep!
So if the content, the so-called facts, about my mental state isn't the thing - what is? Is it that I recognize that all over the world people are agonizing over lesser or greater situations? Or that by transforming these feelings as accurately as I can, to the page and to a different set of circumstances, I can portray an individual's pain in such a way that readers will recognize the truth of the portrayal and have some relief with their own particular sleepless nights? Or if not relief just pure understanding that we are all one - in our joy, our pain, our numbness?
The essence of pain, of suffering, is difficult to capture, to recreate, even to remember. I'm not sure if I can even think of it when I'm midstream. It is more a howl than words. Howl is what Allen Ginsberg called his most known work. Not to be too beat, too existential, but that sums it up for me right now. Howling off the back deck in the half moon to unknown beasts lurking in the trees.



a bit of Howl:
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

12 comments:

H. L. Banks said...

My dear Jan: What a fearless, beautiful, heart-felt post. In your anguish, you have captured the essence of emotional pain we all experience from time to time. And I will treasure and remember your words - beginning, middle, end - on my own sleepless night. Healing words.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I am amazed and awed and a lot more by the way you eloquently express what it's like to go through emotional pain. You're so right, too, that capturing that experience and writing it can help others identify with it. Can that help in their own healing? Quite likely. And that probably helps the writer heal, too...

Talli Roland said...

'Howl' is amazing. And so was this post. Jan, I hope you're okay and weathering the storm. Sending loads of positive vibes your way!

Talli Roland said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jodi R. said...

Sending peaceful vibes your way, my friend...

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

How very insightful... Your post oozes anguish but not despair. I hope you're soon feeling better and sleeping soundly again.

lissa said...

at least you got to express your emotions even in the a.m. I think often times people suppress their feelings and ends up feeling even worse. hope you're feeling more upbeat today.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

For all things, there is a season, a beginning middle and end. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes not.
And if I got up in the middle of the night to do anything, my husband would be up within a minute wondering what the heck I was doing!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm so sorry you're experiencing such awful pain. It shall pass. Joy shall return.

If it doesn't leave you soon, I'll send Bubba up to give it a swift kick in the you know whats and send it swirling into the dark Atlantic.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks all. Tonight I will sleep and I already feel better just thinking about it! You are a bunch of dear-bones...

sue said...

I'm glad you visited me today midst your rage. I hope you found space for it, to allow it to be, to give it room to breathe, and that you've found some peace there too. Sending beauty from the timeless desert to you.

Faith Pray said...

Turmoil is hell, and yet, and yet... I have begun embracing parts of it, stopping to set my teeth and seethe, breathing in the acrid bitter and raging fury - so that I can reel it in, use it as recycling's best - write my frustrations into villains and conflicts and despair. I'm sorry for the roller coaster, but so very inspired by your howl.