These past few weeks, after my family and I have endured a set of life-altering setbacks, I have been experiencing a creative showdown. You know, a writer's block, a lack of inspiration, a lack of motivation, a lack of ideas, boredom, you name it, but the bottom line is that I have sat in front of a blank paper and stared at it for hours, day in and day out, with absolutely nothing which makes sense popping into my mind.
This is unusual because I write all the time, even without writing. When I go for a walk in the morning, I tell myself stories with every step. When I drive to and from somewhere, I do not do it with music in the background from the stereo, but with my own voice counseling, teaching, scolding, entertaining me, coming up with witty, smart, sassy comebacks to things people have said before. Never mind, that I thought of them hours, days, weeks and even years after I should have said them. The beauty lies in my mind being able to think of them at all. So, not being able to think, for me, is scary.
My father was a highly intelligent man. He was witty. He was wise. He was a man whose strength, physical, emotional, spiritual, I always found astounding. A man who endured hard challenges in his life. Some trials were so hard they knocked him down, but he always got up again. He fought back. He knew life is hard, but he rose to the occasion. He saw his dreams come to nothing in many instances. He suffered failures. He endured heartbreaks. He knew what sadness and grief taste like. Yet, his optimism was contagious. His joie de vivre was real. His hope for a brigther future was almost tangible.
Nonetheless, his last years were spent bedridden, being unable to remember how to swallow or even recognizing any of his seven children.
When I cannot think of anything to say, is it any wonder I panic? Should I be surprised I fear the Alzheimer's which robbed me of my father, and finally vanquished the ultimate conqueror, may be trying to claim me as its next victim?
I paid attention to my father's example, though. I am truly my father's daughter. I am also a resilient person, who cannot stay down too long, nor I am someone who quits while there is a breath of life left.
I look for options. I do exercises. I practice. I dust off and get up, time and time again. I surround myself with family and close friends who bear me up. I look up and trust in God to rescue me, to love me, to hold me up, while dizzy and bloodied, I stand in a world dark and scary.
In the Jungle Book story, Rudyard Kipling thought of some great lines. Things like, " For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack," or " Don't spend your time looking around for something you want that can't be found."
I draw inspiration from many things. Today, I draw strength from the wisdom of the black panther, Bagheera, and let go of my fears when I face whatever may or may not come, and say, "Things will look better in the morning..."