Since the session of the Writing Your Grief course was over last week, I have been writing from random pages in Looking for Alaska. Reading has been difficult for me since Alaska died, and in the last few months, I haven’t been able to finish any books that I have started.
It’s not you, books, it’s me.
Audiobooks help bring me the stories that I crave while I can busy myself with cleaning or cooking or playing solitaire so that I focus on the story rather than read several pages and have to go back (or more likely quit). Tonight I chose my page by turning on a timer and stopping it quickly .48 seconds meant that I would turn to page 48. This turned out to be one of the pages that I don’t have marked; it’s a fun scene in the novel, though. This book makes me laugh and cry (always has), and this is one of those pages that had me laughing. Two words stood out when I read it the second time tonight: badass moment.
It seems a bit silly to write about those words, and I’m not entirely sure why they stood out. When I think of badass moments in my life, I come up blank. I could maybe find something if I really let myself go there, but tonight I want to say that this community of writers that I have come across through WYG is full of beautiful badassery. Really the simple act of breathing during grief is badass some days. The simple act of breathing. Did I just say that? Breathing used to feel simple, a natural process that could become laboured with stress or exercise. Breathing with grief is a new task altogether, and sometimes it’s the only thing that gets done in a day. Just breathe while the heart goes boom (like in that terrible, awful, icky “Sledgehammer” song). That song. I’m not sure I’ve heard a worse song. Sorry. I’m a hater.
Sledgehammers are badass, and I don’t think they actually go boom boom boom like a lust-struck heartbeat. Sledgehammers tear through walls. Sledgehammers destroy and clear a path to build something new. Is that what we’re doing here with our grief writing? Tearing through walls that will keep coming back? Sometimes with ugly patches and sometimes made with better materials but always, always destined for the sledgehammer.
(Maybe I’ve been too narrow with my opinion on uses for the sledgehammer; apologies to the sledgehammer operators out there.)