Today is one of those times.
I have not been able to write for some time. I've always had the usual writer's block woes and procrastinating struggles but, two months ago, all of those things ceased to matter. You see, at the beginning of February, I lost my baby to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Surgery and my subsequent recovery only magnified the loss and my inability to do anything approaching "normal." That included what I thought would help me heal if only I could make the words come.
I've always had this idea that great sorrow, turmoil, or stress made for amazing feats of writing. We've all read about the great writers and artists who were in such turmoil that their souls fairly exploded with the art we admire.
I wonder, now, if they wrote and painted despite their sorrows, not from them. Novelist and psychologist Karen E. Peterson wrote:
"As writers....We are convinced that our art grows out of our suffering, and if we let some Freudians take away our suffering, then they'll take away our writing voices, too. Perhaps this is true for a few writers, but in my twenty-seven years of experience with writers...the opposite has been true. Usually, when writers consult with me, it's because their art is not growing out of their suffering. They're just suffering...."
My suffering is a black whirlpool of pain - there is no beauty there that I can form into breathtaking stories. But, my faith and trust in God has lent comfort to my sorrows. My family and friends have offered their love, care, and support and the blackness has receded. As my healing forms, so do the first tendrils of the words for which I have been waiting.
What do you think? Does suffering produce the beauty of art? Or is it our ability to stretch our minds past the turbulence of life's sorrows that helps us create?