The Writer's Life

Silence Among Words

I have said it before, and I will say it again. In day-to-day activities, Life happens. Like a toddler, it grabs your attention, forcing you to look at the stunts it can achieve by consistently tugging your sleeve and calling out your name.

As writers, we lock ourselves up in our little caves surrounded by books stacked precariously on overstuffed shelves with bits of paper strewn across the floor, blissfully ignoring Life. As much as we would like to keep ourselves tidy by organizing our pens and pencils, our nesting phase ends when the cursor on our blank screen screams at us for some action. We block out the world and only emerge from the depths of our fictional lands when a little tiny voice from a distance says, “Mom, I’m hungry.”

We do not want a reprieve from our work, but we must take it. We feel agitated that we have to put our dream on hold one more time to meet the needs of Life. We gripe that we can’t seem to get anything done. Still, we tread on anticipating that next silent moment where we can indulge in our sparks of creativity.

Every so often, Mother Nature calls, giving a sudden urgency to leave our desks, whether to relieve our bladder or to calm those hunger pains. And just when we thought we reached the home stretch on our way back to our writing station, our beloved companion of 17 years mews from the corner of his sleeping quarters. He can’t move, he is breathing heavily, and he tells us it is time.

On April 10th of this year, I had to make the decision to release my cat from his pain. He was a constant companion, greeting me at the door as soon as I arrived home, warming my lap throughout the day, and curling up next to my heart as I retired to bed in the evening. My lap is now empty without him, his mews no longer greet me when I come home, and my chest is lighter without him in my arms.

I have lost feline companions in the past, but not one that was so close to my heart. I was there when he was born. When he was ready to leave his mother, he dug his tiny claws into my bed, climbed to my side, and kneaded his way into my heart. He was the kitten I was not to have and the companion I needed most in my loneliest hour.

The grief was unbearable, and it took me quite some time to overcome my loss. I tried to write, but words no longer flowed. I even tried to read my favorite books, but my interest was lacking.

Then, about a month later, a phone call renewed my hope. I was considered for a position I had only dreamed of about 14 years ago. Two days before the death of my beloved feline, I had taken a risk and applied for a position I thought may have been out of my league. However, after several interviews, I discovered I was perfectly qualified and the best fit among other candidates. This hope opened my heart to welcome two new feline companions into our home.

It saddens me that my cat is no longer with me to share in this joy. I still feel the emptiness, but I am able to get back into my creative groove again. My new job utilizes my creativity, and every day I am grateful for this little piece of happiness in my life. With a regular schedule, I will no longer miss out on family events and schedule routine creative times while enjoying tidbits of kitten humor.

Today, I have abandoned my silence and will be dishing out some inspiring and fun articles for all to read. And I will be picking up my favorite books again for more rereads. A writer may indulge in a moment of silence, but she cannot abandon the written word no matter how hard Life tries to get in the way.