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Posts Tagged ‘lost’

Are we really still doing this?

Photo by Tammy Gann on Unsplash

Feeling a Little Lost?

by L. V. Gaudet

Sometimes we feel a little lost. Like we bit off a little more than we can handle.

Between work or school, maybe both, family, friends, and chores. We all have those, chores, some more than others. Other commitments. Things we just want to do. Life can get a bit overwhelming and that drive we feel to write becomes a nagging reminder of what we are not getting done.

That sense of being overwhelmed can dull our drive and stop us from being able to write. It is a fog that fills the head and smothers the heart.

We all have more reason to feel a little lost right now.

We’ve been in this pandemic for over a year. The world is in it’s third wave of this wretched Covid virus. Some, like where I am, are in yet another lockdown. Many have lost loved ones and their jobs or businesses to it. Many have lost their homes.

We just started another heavy lockdown here today. All nonessential businesses closed and those that are open are at 10% capacity. Things that feel essential to us, fitness studios and gyms, religious services, the ability to get a simple haircut, are all closed and can only offer online programs. The massive lineups started yesterday with many trying to get their essentials before the lockdown that was announced with less than 48 hours notice.

It’s a heaviness that weighs on you. A feeling of control over your life lost. Normalcy gone that you just can’t get back as you wonder if and when that normal will ever return.

Anger is directed at those calling the shots, the people locking down our world. Like this is some game of House of Cards and we are the unwitting tenants whose lives they are playing with. It’s easy to point that anger and frustration, fueled by worry and fear, at those telling us we cannot live life as normal, as if the pandemic does not exist.

Following the news is following an inevitable train wreck. In some countries, the pandemic has become nothing more than added pieces to the Game of Politics board for politicians to quibble over in their never-ending callous fight over scoring those political points against their perceived opponents. The unwitting tenants of their game are simply collateral damage they give no thought or care to.

In some countries it is nothing more than another thread in their powerplay, tugged around and used to gain or cement their power. The wealthy use it to grow their wealth even larger and the uncompassionate to make fast cash to the detriment of others.

While the rest of us are just the characters in a story written by someone else. We don’t know where the story will go and have no control over what happens next. The plot just drags on without change.

It’s okay to feel a little lost sometimes.

It’s even more okay to feel a little lost right now. Control of your world and life has been taken away and you don’t know when you’ll get it back.

There is one place where you can have control – in your writing.

Unlike the politicians, who are more interested in opposing each other and growing their political power than actually doing anything that can help their constituents and fellow human beings, you can wreak havoc on your characters’ lives without hurting real people.

Take that anger and fear, frustration, and sense of hopelessness and loss, and pour it into your writing. Let your characters feel the full wrath of everything you cannot express otherwise. Put your heart and soul, your anguish and hate towards what is happening, into the lives of your characters.

It is a great way to not only express your feelings, but also to vent them. It is liberating. Opening a release valve on that pent up emotional pressure. It is cathartic. Healing.

You might also just get some powerful emotionally impactful writing out of it. The best writing can come from the chaos of strong emotions.

Keep writing my friends, and hang in there. No pandemic in history has lasted forever.

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11985

 

The boys burst into the house, hurriedly kicking off their boots at the back door before going any further.  Everything looks exactly like it did when they went out to play.

It’s 1985 and the furniture and décor are a clash of pieces mostly from the sixties and seventies, some bought new, some second hand, and some are hand-me-downs.  Nothing has been upgraded in the past ten years, a testament of thoughtful care and financial mediocrity.  The worn couch and dented coffee table, victims of having two rambunctious growing boys in the house, are overdue to be replaced.  A comic book lays discarded on the floor, open as if it is trying to fly away, The Thing is caught forever in an epic battle against a green monster that looks like a rough tree bark wall with many arms surrounding The Thing with flailing punching fists.  The television, an ancient tube set, sits dark and quiet on its stand.  A pair of discarded boy’s socks are tossed carelessly on the floor, and the latest edition of TV Guide sits on the coffee table.

“Mom!” Jesse looks around.

The house is dead silent except for their own breathing.

“Mom?”

Kevin stands there, looking around.

The house is exactly as they left it before they went outside to play.  How long has that been?  An hour?

But not quite.

Everything seems a little muted.  Off.

And more dusty than he remembers.

Jesse runs into the kitchen.  After a pause of a few heartbeats, Kevin follows.

“Mom?” Jesse pauses just inside the doorway, looking expectantly for their mother.

The teakettle still sits on the stovetop, two tea towels hang from the oven door handle where they were hung to dry after washing dishes in the sink, and the table is set for dinner with places for four.

Flour and sugar bags sit on the countertop next to a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and measuring cup, pulled out in preparation of baking a cake.

Their mother is not there.

They run through the house calling, “Mom! Mom! Mom!”  They end their search back in the living room, out of breath.

“She’s not here.”

“Where could she be?”

“Next door, maybe?”

“Let’s go see.”

They pull their boots back on and rush out the door into the backyard, trained not to use the front door because that would somehow make more cleaning work for their mother, and around the side of the house to the front.

They stop, staring around wide-eyed, and turn to stare at each other, their faces full of fear and confusion.

They are standing in the woods next to that old stump.

“What the hell?”

“Don’t cuss,” Jesse says automatically.  There is hell to pay if their mom ever hears them use bad language.  Hell is one of many forbidden words.

Kevin turns to him, appalled.

“Seriously?  You’re worried about me cussing? We are back in the woods! How?  This is impossible!”

He stops.

“Jesse.”

“What?” Jesse is sulking now.

“The grass.”

“What about it?”

“Wasn’t there grass in the yard?”

“Yeah, so?  There’s always been grass in the yard.”

Kevin narrows his eyes, wondering if Jesse is just being dumb or is messing with him.

“It’s early spring.  Look around.  There’s still snow everywhere.”

“Yeah, so?” Jesse isn’t getting it.

Kevin’s shoulders sag with the futility of it.  Do I even bother? He sighs.

“Jesse, do you remember what the yard looked like? Just now, when we went back to the house.”

“Yeah, your bike was laying on the grass. I almost tripped on it.”

“Where was the snow?”

They both just stare at each other.

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