She took me out for coffee. I love her so I went. Over cups of over-priced, calorie-packed designer java, she looked me in the eye and asked, "I read what you wrote. Why?"
I've been asked that several times, actually. Being a writer, I want to present it in some lovely, well-worded manner that leaves the reader with some profound truth. I really want to hand you a well-wrapped box with a lovely bow that you open and find this nicely organized gift of obviously connected items. Instead, it is more like pulling out the kitchen stuff drawer, dumping it on the table, and trying to tell you why the pliers, bread ties, plastic wine opener that I never us because I don't drink wine, and keys to who-knows-what are all there in one big lump.
What do they all have in common?
Nothing...except the fact they all seem unrelated to anything else...and they are automatically connected through the unbelonging anywhere else...
Here is my mental/emotional kitchen-stuff-drawer-dump-on-the-table attempt at explaining the battlefield...and what happened to all the stuff...
As many of you read or know through personal contact, the holidays were FABULOUS! So much better than I could have dreamed. We laughed...a LOT, enjoyed friends and family. They were perfect. Norman Rockwell would have asked to paint us. They were that good.
Then December 26th came.
I cannot explain what happened. "Crater" doesn't quite cut it. It was more like being in an airplane, flying wondrously above the clouds, and then being dropped out with no parachute. It felt like a free fall...again.
I really kept thinking it was just the adrenaline crash that comes from the big build up of anticipation for an event, and once the event is gone, so is the rush, and there is a crash. I know how to handle those. I have just finished one major event. I rest a bit, and move to the next thing.
Problem. I couldn't figure out a next thing.
I couldn't figure out a direction.
I couldn't figure out a purpose.
I couldn't figure out...anything.
It was like I had been teleported back to last summer when I was simply trying to make sure the kids had three meals a day, and my whole "goal" was to get through the to do list of the estate, except this time there was no to do list...and I couldn't create one.
I didn't want to create one.
I didn't want to get out of bed.
In fact, I didn't want to do anything.
I had always wanted to write, but I could see nothing in my writing. I could find no goal. I had been asked to submit some pieces for consideration for inclusion in a book. I could find no clarity for what to write.
For a few years, I've had ideas for books--fiction and non-fiction--rolling in my head, but I couldn't solidify things. They seemed like wisps of dandelion flouncing through the wind. No direction. No way to be caught. Just floating with the understanding they would land somewhere.
My desire for further training in emergency response stalled. What would I do with it? Where would I go? What was the purpose? No clue. Maybe it was just a nice escapism in the midst of the carnage. If so, why spend more time and money on it only to find it is not something God plans to use?
In fact, I suddenly didn't know if I wanted to be part of emergency response at all.
A few folks suggested I reconsider photography. And take pictures of what? I had no vision. Hard to get focus when there is no vision.
Homeschool was hard enough to wade through, and it felt like wading...through water thick with mud up to my waist or higher. Mentally it was exhausting. Did I want to do this anymore? Was it good for the kids? Could I really be effective?
Not like this.
But what was "this"?
I could see all the symptoms--the lack of vision, lack of enthusiasm, lack of joy, lack of...
And I was frustrated because I could see what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be, and honestly, normally, I would push right through and just do it anyway. This time, though, there was no pushing through. There was no second-wind. There was no one-more-try.
I had hit the wall...and then it fell on me and squished me.
There was no solution except to move the wall, but to do that, I needed to know what it was made of.
Where I wanted to be didn't matter until I really understood where I was.