Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hide and Seek

Only daughter just got back from New York and Toronto where she was seeing plenty of stage performances(Mama Mia and Rent to name two) and participating in acting workshops. Last night she described how good and right it felt to find another layer to her voice in two of those workshops. Being a drama queen has been easy enough for me to play out in many phases of my life but that's as far as it goes. I do, however, know what it feels like to find my writing voice. At the moment I feel like it is playing hide and seek and it matters not that I have counted to 100 and announced, "Ready or not, here I come!". It's in a darn good hiding place and I'm getting worn out looking for it.

Oh, I have been posting a lot lately but nothing that comes from that gut place inside - the place where the depths of what I think and feel bubble up and spill out onto this page. The place where writing is true and without pretense. Before you say I am being too hard on myself know that I recognize when I am being real and when I am just typing away on this keyboard to fill the time and space. I know when I am skirting around what I need to get off my chest and am instead resorting to playing it safe for my own sake. And I trust those of you who have read me for the past year can sense that too.

If I trace back to when my "voice" left, it was about 3 weeks ago when I was facing some potentially serious medical tests, and in order to keep the stress of that from my adults kids who read here regularly,I chose not to blog about it. I didn't want to cloud my daughter's two week trip to NYC and TO with worry about stuff that could (and did) turn out to be nothing. So I hedged around on here. I had to type on one hand and shove down feelings on the other. It didn't work too well. I would have been better off to write a one line post that read, "Help, I'm scared shitless!" and get it off my chest. It would have freed me to be real and there would be no need now to play an exhausting game of hide and seek.

The other part of it is the hide and seek game I feel like I've been playing with God. On Sunday I walked into church only to have Father Charlie ask me how I was. Hmmm. He never asks me that because he knows I panic trying to come up with an answer. But that day I knew exactly how I was and told him I would rather not be there. I said I felt like God was on a distant planet and I was out of hearing range. Well, I told him God hadn't moved but I was keeping my head full of noise so that I wouldn't have to listen. I hadn't wanted to come to Mass in case I got quiet enough to hear. Too much information. It came and bit me in the butt. Er, heart.

Usually Father Charlie reads the gospel and then leads off the homily asking us questions. More often than not he doesn't read what he prepared but answers the questions that the gospel reading raises for us. With only a handful of people in the pews it works quite well. But this Sunday he read the whole flipping homily. And it spoke directly to the matters I had raised with him before Mass ever started. I left church feeling safe enough to stop doing the "la, la, la fingers-in-the ears-I-can't-hear-you" dance I often play with God. Big breath in and we were on speaking terms again.

I don't know how it is for other writers. I get uneasy when I sense that I am not being true to myself in what I write. It doesn't mean I have to always dig to the bottom of the barrel to share on this page. But it does mean I desire to be honest in all my writing - even if all I am writing about are the mundane activities of life like buying groceries or having a pajama day.

I suspect there are certain feelings brewing inside me that I am not willing to face. The "keep from rising to a conscious level if at all possible" option is the one I have been choosing for a few weeks now. I would not even have begun to look at doing something about it had I not read this post by Anj and in particular this quote: "If you will not share your pain with me, I do not want your wisdom."

If nothing else, when I am unable to reach deep inside to face what truth lies beneath, I can count on one of you to speak to it for me. It's the one time I am thankful to lose playing the hide and seek game. "Ready or not, here I come."

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