02 April, 2015

B is for Baby [A to Z Challenge 2015]

As I stated yesterday, my personal vignettes are oftentimes not fantastical but full of the trials and vices and sorrows of life.

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?

25 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. That is terribly tragic, and I am not surprised at all that other things, like creative pursuits, were put on hold. I think you are right when you say art is done despite the suffering. And art that comes about from suffering is very likely no longer close to its source, that is to say, it is far enough away from that time to have been processed and understood.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I am hoping the same will be said for my work after this has passed.

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  2. So sorry for the sorrows you are facing. Though I agree art doesn't come FROM suffering, it is possible that it can be magnified through sorrow's lens. That is, a heart braving harsh times, those difficult dark nights of the soul, develops a new depth of understanding. . I believe this improves our craft, gives it compassion and dimensions we might not otherwise be able to imbue. And that is when a writer is able to touch others who have gone through, or are going through, the same thing. Just a thought. So glad you are A-to-Z'ing with us!

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    1. Thank you, Stacy. I think so, too. And it takes many personalities to create the art in our world - whereas I cannot create until after the suffering, perhaps someone else might be able to.

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  3. It has been a tough time for you, and I pray that God gives you the strength to bear the pain and emerge stronger.
    As far as writing is concerned, its not entirely the sorrow and grief that brings out the writer within us, but indeed it helps in expressing the hidden talent that some of us posses, which in normal circumstances would remain buried in a pile of self consciousness.

    Rinki Debnath
    www.covertocoverbookreads.blogspot.in

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    1. Thank you, Rinki. I love the way you put that and I think I agree. Like many things in life, it's the trials and sorrows that deepen our words.

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  4. I have no words other than "thank you" for sharing... sometimes it helps to be open, scream a little... okay a lot. Thank you for being strong!

    Jeremy
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]
    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!

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    1. I try to store up as many of the strong days as I can, Jeremy!

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  5. So sorry for your loss. That's a big one. As far as sorrow and creating- I think it depends on the individual. While some may find their art flourishes from the pain, others find creating therapeutic while others simply must deal with their pain first as they find it squashes their ability--maybe because there is such joy in the creations???

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    1. Thank you. That's an interesting way to look at it. I certainly don't think my mindset is the only one but it does make you think when it isn't your own.

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  6. My condolences on your recent loss. I hope you're healing gradually, though I imagine that sort of thing takes a while to recover from.

    I think the magic of the great writers is not that they pour their own suffering souls out onto the page, but that they tap into a fundamental suffering that is common between people. The ability to produce profound emotion in a person one has never met comes from a deep understanding of the human condition, and being able to connect with it on an emotional level. Writers, I think, do this better than most other people.

    https://njmagas.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you, Nicky - it is healing gradually but I am grateful for any healing at all at this point. Thank you for your thoughts on art and suffering. I agree wholeheartedly.

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  7. Wow! That is tough, and to be so open and honest...to be so raw and authentic. Thank you! I think that the more aware we are of what we are going through...the more we can express that in writing to others. We connect with art because of the emotions we feel as we read, watch, ponder over it. Those emotions can only be felt if the artists allows herself to truly feel them as she creates. At least that's what I think! Thank you again, for letting us have a little glimpse into your journey.

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    1. I agree, Tawnya, and maybe that's what makes it hard to write through suffering - when you don't fully understand it or it's too fresh to pull apart, the emotions necessary for the art are just not there.

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  8. My condolences for you loss. I do not think art (or for that matter any form of creativity) and suffering go hand in hand. Attributing the beauty of the art to the artist's suffering would undermine the artist's talent. May be the suffering could have been an inspiration, but riding on that inspiration and overcoming the suffering to create the art is altogether the artist's feat. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you. I like your thoughts on overcoming the suffering. I do think that's where the true beauty comes from.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. Grief is its own journey. (((Hugs)))

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  10. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I've never understood the belief that suffering brings about great stories, unless maybe writing is used as a form as escapism for suffering people. As for me, if I've had a bad day the last thing I want to do is write.

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    1. I feel the same way, which prompted me to write this. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. My heart goes out to you. I don't know whether pain and loss help with artistic expression but I do know they are both what teach us what is important in life and inform who we are. It ultimately all boils down to love.
    I shall say one of my favorite Baha'i faith prayers for you and the baby's soul.

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  12. Here's the Baha'i prayer I spoke of:
    O Thou peerless Lord! Let the soul of this babe be nursed from the breast of Thy loving-kindness, guard it within the cradle of Thy safety and protection and grant that it be reared in the arms of Thy tender affection.

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  13. Oh my! I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

    In answer to your question, I've always felt that suffering through something helps me feel enough of an emotion to create.

    Thanks for the thought provoking question!

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    1. Thank you, Mandy. I'm glad it helped you!

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