I've been procrastinating for much of this year so far. Three months been and gone and I haven't written anything new. Until today. I would not say the writers block has been vanquished permanently. I would say that it is clear to me now that I need to be in a darker headspace to want to write. When you read what I wrote, you will understand. It is a truism that writers need to embrace their inner angst to emote on a page with any authenticity.
My effort today only came about because I stayed in bed this morning with a mongrel of a headache. My head still hurts and I can barely concentrate but I had the words below looping inside my head when I woke up and they have been lingering there all day. Splash them onto a page and perhaps the pain will subside. Perhaps today is the day my creative flow returns and the rest of the year will be productive.
The poem below, same title as this blog - Still Me , is my attempt to articulate how I have been experiencing Multiple Sclerosis since I was diagnosed with the disease. I'm still in the early stages - a couple of years into it. Hopefully I will be there stalled for a while. I am still trying to come to terms with what it will mean for me (and my writing) in the years to come. It's fair to say, I am a little overwhelmed by yet another physical setback in a steady stream of bitch-slap downs the Universe has bestowed upon me courtesy of my crappy inherited genes. And people wonder why I contemplate short story themes like intergenerational karma.
Anyway - here's the poem...
It’s still me.
Most of the time.
My body is my temple?
More a natural born killer.
Capable only of friendly fire.
It is still me.
I do not understand the why.
All I know is the when.
It sneaks up suddenly, stays for a short stretch.
Then illusionist aplomb vanishing act.
Location unknown for a time undefined.
Homing beacon marking the place to return
when the stress and heat is ripe.
Lapse – remission – relapse – repeat.
A cycle of scarring spins ever downward.
It is. Still me.
Even though the inside of my head crackles and aches
Just before I lose my sense of touch.
Then limp left side, unsure footing, blurry vision
right eye blindness, far too many bathroom breaks.
Exhausted, out of focus.
My face feels damp from unreal flowing water
as white lesions dance and grow in number.
A crowd celebrating their successful beachhead
entrenched among the grey matter.
And this is only the beginning.
It is still me.
Slowly being redefined by others.
With every uttered word
spilling from my mouth
reshaped in the surrounding air
By the weight of their ill-conceived assumptions.
Ignoring my plea that I be treated the same
as I was before I confessed.
I cannot blame them.
They cannot know what they do not know.
And so, a disease is a disease is a disability.
In their eyes.
No matter how normal I seem on the outside.
True to my word.
I will be who I have always been to you.
Even if my body and mind lets me down every now and then.