I'm pretty sure my internal writer has gone missing. Died, perhaps. My muse is still around doing the wanting and infusing me with the desire to write. She'll inspire me sometimes; throw me a little prompt, a little elbow to the ribs, make me trip over an awesome string of words that ignites the desire in me before swiftly burning out. Before I can even get to the pen, before I can put fingers to the keyboard, the words are gone and all that's left is a black hole of unfulfilled potential. It creates a hole in my world that can never be filled as the words that could have created hope, or wholeness, or even pain or uncertainty, vanish into nothingness as a piece of me that Could Have Been Something becomes Nothing At All. It hurts in a place in my soul that I can't describe. It's like an aching for something that never happened, like when you wake from a fantastic dream and realize that none of it was true and your world is still the same old world you fell asleep in.
Perhaps this is what made my writer run off in the first place: she realized that there was so much potential in what could have been that now can never be. In spite of myself, it feels there is so much that Could Have Been that will never have the chance to be realized As It Was. Maybe my writer went off in search of it. She's been gone a long time. I guess As It Was is a pretty elusive creature.
March is a bad month for me. I am hard-pressed to think of anything good that has ever happened in March in the 26 years I have been alive. And particularly this week, I find myself thinking about the fact that I will never know how things could have been. I will never know the way I could have been now, if things hadn't happened the way they did. Yes, there is some anger there. And resentment. And hurt. If I'm honest, it's pretty raw, and I don't know if it's the month or the events of the past several weeks, but it's a pretty rough looking wound that's having a hard time healing. The fact that my writer has "r-u-n-n-o-f-t" only makes it more difficult: it's not easy doing all this work in my head and my heart without my words.
To be clear, it's not What If or If Only that are haunting me right now. I've done rounds with them, too, believe me, and ultimately, I beat What If in the final round. As of today, If Only and I are tied. If Only is looking a little weak these days. I'm pretty sure I can take her next time.
So no, it's not What If or If Only, but Could Have Been and As It Was. It's been so long (both so long, and so little time at all), that I know for a fact Could Have Been and As It Was are both hopeless fantasies. In fact, it's been so long that I don't even know As It Was anymore. She is just an illusion I hold onto in the hope of making some semblance of a change to become who I think I could have been. She is also a fantasy, and one I need to let go of at that: who I think I could have been is probably different from who I would have been, and is definitely different from who I have become.
As for Who I Am...I'm sure she is in there somewhere, underneath the What Ifs and If Onlys and Could Have Beens and Would Have Beens. Ultimately, I know, that she is the only important one, and that she is the most constant, the most stable, the most secure. It just doesn't feel safe to let her out yet--she's been hurt before, you know?
Lately, too, I've been running across those quotes about how things happen as they should, and the universe is unfolding in the way it is supposed to, and how the events of our lives lead us to where we ought to be. I saw another quote about how the most beneficial events in our lives are the ones that were also the most difficult and painful. In this writerless state in which I am forced to exist, this sort of global perspective and acceptance is lost on me. If things are happening as they should, it's because I'm making it so, not because any sort of force put the right obstacles in my way. If I am overcoming and moving forward, it is not because I am seeing the pain as beneficial or as what I needed to become who I am, but because I am overcoming and moving forward and I have the blisters and scrapes and sore muscles and bruises to prove it.
Regardless, my writer is missing. Have you seen her? This disembodied piece of me is longing for a place to land, I'm sure, and the writer-shaped hole in my body is a black hole where wordless emotions and unprocessed stories are going to die. If you see her, look into her green eyes and tell her As It Was is gone. Let her cry on your shoulder - she needs that, even though she'll deny it. She likes dark chocolate and wine. Fuzzy blankets calm her and make her feel safe. Let her cover her head with it and pretend that she's not crying as she won't want you to know. Make her shower and shave her legs and put conditioner in her hair so it doesn't get too unruly. Let her dress in big cozy sweatpants. She prefers unlined paper and black, smooth pens. Sit with her, if you will, until the words come. Pour her another glass of wine, and sit again until the tears fall and anger shakes her through. Let her be quiet. Trust the moments of not-writing, as long as she stays at the page. And then, when she is writing again, send her home to me. I need her to help me turn As It Is into As I Will Make it Be. There is much work to be done, and I can't do it alone.