I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of writing to transmute our suffering. I recently went through a rough period where finding energy to write felt like a miracle. When I did write, I found myself creating absurdist comedy.
The activity was indisputably healing for me. I could be having a gruelling day, open my keyboard and find myself laughing out loud at what was tumbling out of my mind. Maybe “out of my mind” was the operative phrase! But it worked. My writing lifted my spirit and helped me to move beyond my pain by facilitating me to be silly and in a sense, thumb my nose at despair. If I can still laugh at you, despair, you haven’t taken me down yet!
Writing is a way of overcoming whatever is hurting us. When we write, we stand in solidarity with ourselves and others who suffer and own our power by recording or re-imagining our experience. It is not a small act. It often takes everything we have to move from the paralysis of grief to the embodied action that is writing. It is heroic to reach beyond the confines of the mind in order to share our experience with others and create hope and meaning for all involved.
I witness the women in my writing circles do this all the time. They dive into the wreck (to steal from Adrienne Rich) and pull out treasure, memories, love and pain. It is an utter privilege to be among women while they write, share their stories and heal core wounds in circles of empathy and trust. I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be.