Sometimes I want to give up
I want to turn into a bird and
join the community at the birdfeeder
A sometimes raucous group and yet
they manage to fly in and out
without mayhem or madness
taking them down bird by bird
This little poem was in the middle of a long list of things bothering me yesterday. They included personal health issues, life with our dear cat Smudge who vomits every now and then, the mess that passes as my desk, and our national mayhem and madness.
Early yesterday morning I was watching birds at the feeders outside our kitchen window. Even though it was freezing cold with ice and snow on the ground, I suddenly got all teary. I wanted to be a bird! Free to come and go without fear.
Thankfully, a telephone conversation with a longtime friend helped get me back on track.
There’s a reason I felt like packing it in. The real problem isn’t what’s out there, or even my health challenges. It’s my voice. My writing voice. Put simply: Writing on WordPress is about as safe as it can get. Visitors don’t have to agree with me, and I have the privilege of speaking my mind.
For several years I’ve wondered about publishing some of my writing, and have said No. I’ve already published as an academic; I don’t need to publish anything else.
And yet…I wrote my two published books while I was a professor and my father was still alive. I hedged my language, thinking he might read them. They included memories about my childhood, but not about the way things really were for me at home.
Blogging gave me an opportunity to describe my childhood and youth, come to terms with them, and move on as a writer. So here I am today wondering why, with a manuscript nearly ready to publish, I’m nervous and even fearful.
Yet the truth is simple: Though I don’t write to please or appease my father, I still have a whisper of fear in me. This may sound crazy. Still, I need to do this for myself, my mother and sisters, our children and grandchildren, and women and men who have encouraged me as the writer I now am.
More later about the book. Right now I’m back to proofreading.
Happy Friday, and a prayer that we’ll find our way through these troubled days.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 February 2021
Photo found at news.wisc.edu