What Would You Say into the Darkness of Night?

We’re gonna get right down to it for February’s blogpost … it’s been an unusual month, so why return to the usual now? Over the past few weeks, so many of you have gently reached out by email, snail mail (my fave!), and text (fun!) since I shared the inner details of what being a long-hauler has been like for my body, my family, and our personal finances. All three of us made it through our second covid infection and are on the other side of quarantine. I have lingering challenges now layered on top of the ones that were there from pre-vax alpha, but I am learning how to receive and to change my worldview.

How do you hold hope for the end of a chronic illness, and also let go of the desire to have things be different? That’s a question I ask every day now, and it is a practice to live inside questions without answers. And here, dear friends and readers, are a few questions that I have for you:

  • What do you (or your characters) hope for that is so pervasive, so much a part of who you are, you can’t imagine your day-to-day without that hope?
  • And how do you know this to be so? If for yourself, what choices do you make day in and day out that demonstrate this hope? If for your character, where and how have you shown that pervasive sense of hope on the page? If you haven’t written hope into your character’s life, can you? Even villains laugh, long, and once required breast milk.
  • If you (or your character) were to call out something in the night–saying it in your sleep–what might they say? Who or what would you call for? Why? How would something you would say now, differ from what you would have called out ten years ago? Or twenty?

Each bullet point asks you to take yourself or your character into the vulnerability of yearning and paradox. I don’t ask these questions of you lightly. I ask because in looking for the answers, I believe we also invite ourselves and our characters to remember how to live.

I hope you will respond in the comments below or send me your answers directly!

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