When dad died on August 15 I found that all desire to write was gone. I didn't know where the stories went. I could no longer hear my story telling voice. All was silent in my head. The fictional voices were gone.
One friend kept messaging me, asking me for another chapter. I kept promising, but when I would sit down to write, the characters would refuse to talk to me. I kept telling myself, "Tomorrow I will write". As the days spread themselves like fog, I still couldn't hear the stories. The voices had gone completely silent.
"Tomorrow" became more and more elusive. My sleep suffered. I was spending every spare moment at work trying not to think about dad, about the weight like rocks inside of my chest, about writing. Thinking I could ignore it all if I completely exhausted myself at work, I'd work eleven and twelve hours, long after all the other teachers had left the school. Even so, I still spent two or three hours trying to fall asleep at night. My thoughts were becoming tangled from sleep deprivation. Every time my brain started recalling dad's smile or the sound of his voice I'd push the memory aside. I'd berate myself not to cry, not to think- just work, work, work. And the voices inside grew fainter and fainter.
A week ago my persistent friend again messaged asking when I was going to write more of Matthew's story. Again I promised her, "This weekend". Two nights ago as I was trying to fall asleep I heard a voice, clear as a silver bell, in my head. Behind my closed eyelids in the dark of the night I saw the words appear fresh and crisp against a bright white background. I heard and saw the beginnings of, "Matthew is my big brother..".
Last night I wrote.
I have found the voices again, or they have found me. They are jostling for attention, crowding my brain, speaking to me every second. They are joyous and they are back. Hell, yeah, they are back.
I owe you a debt, Jo. You were the swift kick that wouldn't let the voices just die.