“Obstruction, obscurity, emptiness, disorientation, twilight, blackout, often combined with a struggle or path or journey – an inability to see one’s way forward, but a feeling that there was a way forward, and that the act of going forward would eventually bring about the conditions for vision – these are common elements in many descriptions of the process of writing.
Possibly, then, writing has to do with darkness, and a desire or perhaps a compulsion to enter it, and, with luck, to illuminate it, and to bring something back out to the light.”
– Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing
Today is the first day I’ve sat down to write in nearly weeks. I had wondered – worried, rather – that my attempt at words would falter clumsily.
I worry too much.
It has been a good day of writing (not to be judged, of course, by this blog post, which I’m typing furiously and hoping to finish so that I can pick my kids up at school showered.) Rather, I’ve finished a piece about something I really wish to defend, something I really care about. I hope you’ll see it next week at her.meneutics.
It would seem obvious that every writer writes about subjects she loves. This is, to a certain degree, true. And at the same time, sometimes a writer writes a piece and feel as if she’s exhaled into it the essence of who she is and life as she’s lived it. In this way, this piece means more to her than other essays she’s written.
One such essay for me was published this week, and I wanted to make sure that I shared it with you. I also have an interesting backstory to the piece to share with you, which will not only provide a little window into the capricious world of publishing, but will help you understand why I believe even more firmly that what I’ve said in this piece MUST be said.
(You’ll understand, of course, the necessity of concealing the names of editors and publications.)
Originally, I sent an essay called, “Time Does Not Heal” to a prominent Christian blog. (Let your mind run wild.) The editor said he loved the piece and looked forward to publishing it on X date. X date came and went. I was busy and failed to follow-up. Said editor (kind and generous, mind you) emailed me to let me know the piece would run on revised Y date. Fine, fine, I’m cool with that. Y date comes and goes.
Eventually (as in weeks later), I email the editor to ask about the piece. He responds within minutes, asking to call me personally.
I figure this is NOT good news.
To his credit, he took the time to speak with me over the phone and explain that my piece would NOT in fact run. In essence, the higher-ups had rejected the thesis of the piece, which was that grieving is a long process, that people cannot be rushed to heal, and that Jesus, not time, heals.
OF COURSE time heals. What an idiot, they probably thought.
I’m hard-pressed to think this person, insistent that time heals, has ever grieved the loss of someone close to them. And I lament that we aren’t wiser to suggest the real source of healing: Jesus.
If you, or anyone you know, has ever grieved, please read and share this piece featured yesterday at Today’s Christian Woman: “Time does not always heal – And this, too, is hope”