Writing During the Apocalypse

Like many writers, I have periods where poetry and essay spill from my fingertips as if I am just a conduit for words poured into me by the universe.  A vessel.

I also have times when I stare at the stark white screen while the cursor blinks reproachfully at me, taunting me when I am dry and depleted, wracked with anxiety, listening to the devil on my shoulder hiss imposter and wannabe in my ear.

I have not written much the last few months, but when I have, I have written so I don’t scream until my windows break, until my eardrums bleed.  I have written because I have been stirred and shaken until my stomach is clenched in knots and words pouring out on the screen are less destructive than the sledgehammer I want to slam repeatedly into my walls, until I am so exhausted that my racing thoughts are stilled, my arms ache more than my heart, and there is a brief moment of relief.

One of the greatest compliments I have received as a writer is being told that I write what others are feeling but cannot find the words for.  That I write what is raw and most deeply hidden.

I am a selfish writer.  I write far more for myself than any audience.  I write to process the world events hammering at me, to understand my own deepest feelings, to lance the festering wounds that slow my step.  I have long stopped worrying if my writing is pretty, is palatable.  It digs deep and unearths the ugly, the naked, the primal because I need it to.

One of the hardest but most important journeys I have ever undertaken is to look directly into my own abyss- my deepest fears, my fury, my worst tendencies, my self-destructiveness, my ingrained prejudices (internalized racism, sexism, classism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, etc.), my destructive thoughts, and ugly judgments of others.   I have struggled to name my demons, acknowledge them, wrestle with them, actively learn, grow, and change when I can, and finally, to accept myself and my failings when I can’t.

It feels essential that we dig deep, know ourselves, truly see and wrestle with our own demons.  We must know them- and ourselves-  in order to combat them in the world around us.

© 2020 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “Writing During the Apocalypse

  1. Absolutely, Christina. I truly relate and feel your pain. The ugly out there is so intense and vile I don’t know where to begin. We fight a pandemic at all levels. Thank you for your spirit and words! We poets are highly sensitive people who record for all time the true struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you 100 percent. My husband always says about me, you want to go to the barest root so you can dig it out. Yes, that is me, I need to see the root of an action or thought so I can cut it out with the Word of God on how to deal with it. This has served me well but it highly offensive to those who do not want to go to the root, to not dig for truth, to not be confronted by someone wanting to get in their head. And I know this so I try to get in my own head first. But it is always easier to see a speck in someone else then see the log in my eye. I like the title of your blog, brave and reckless…good post.

    Liked by 1 person

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