Let me tell you, this process can lay patterns and pictures in a girl's mind that can begin to shape her days.
And so, I've been counseled, advised, and requested to please put such writing on hold. At least until I live this season. Live it, then write about it.
Except in living it, I'm remembering, recalling it, putting words to it. Every single day.
And if I'm remembering it, I can't let it go. It's how artists work: the idea simmers and stirs until it twists and starts, bursting to breathe.
I can't very easily put a lid on this pot.
After and throughout such a tragic crisis, many people have said, "I just needed to get back to work. I needed to do my job, engage the routines of my mind, and do the familiar."
Writing is my work. I am writing this story.
In the early days of this year, people, kindly and wisely, said to me, "You should wait 3-6 months before you see a counselor, before you begin therapy." I guess there is a theory that one's mind should recover from the trauma before healing can truly take place.
And yet I thought, and said to them, "But what do I do until then?" Do I just sit in this until somebody sets me free to start putting the pieces together?
No. I began therapy right away. This has been one of my best decisions this year.
And here I am, faced with the questions: to write or not to write? To revisit the trauma with words or only in my mind? To get through this month or to write through it?
But how do I get through it if I don't write through it?
The final verdict, from the therapist who holds my deepest respect and all of my story:
"Tricia, get writing. Trust that need like you trust your appetites. Just like you eat when you're hungry, please write when you're stirring. When you feel like you've written enough, or if you feel like you're writing too much and pushing too hard, then give yourself a break. If it's helping you, lean into it. Get writing, girl."
And so I will write.
Through sunshine and rain,
Christmas lights and Christmas carols,
silver bells and jingle bells,
holding on and letting go,
I will write. And this is how I will live.