Like most mornings (I can’t claim to be always meditate), I found the will to meditate today. Sometimes it takes a lot of will and determination, other times it is a simple affair, and occasionally I give in to darkness and stay away from meditation. As I look at this morning’s meditation photo, I see that I am truly getting old and tired. I have already lived ten years longer than my father, In all tools of measurement, I have done well, even in these extra ten years. Yet, in spite of the outward indicators, I’m not so sure.
What have I accomplished? True, I’ve written books. But have these books done anything to make the world a better place? In going through the processes of analysis and reflection and writing journals to document, I have changed in a number of ways that have resulted in making my life much more difficult for myself and others around me. The closer these others are to me, the worse the affects upon them.
Distant strangers have next to no negative impact from my writings. Those who see me as a writer make positive statements or keep a guarded silence with a few simply saying that the genre doesn’t appeal. Nothing out of the ordinary there other than the rarity of positive statements. For those that know me as a person in the face-to-face world, the initial excitement of my publishing the books was met with good sales. And soon after the sales, a deafening silence. No one seems inclined to want to talk about what I have written though I did get a new counselling client as a result of someone reading the books. I have sold books online and in bookstores. Not a lot, but almost enough to pay for work of publishing, printing, and travelling to do book signings. That, for me, is a positive, a big positive given the genre of my writing. Yet that all comes at a cost that sometimes doesn’t feel worth the effort, a cost of the quality of relationship with those closest to me.
I wasn’t very present in the lives of those who are the most important in my life while I was writing the books. They accepted that what I was doing needed to be done. I wasn’t very present as I travelled from city to city to peddle the books. Yet, there was pride in the fact that I sold books and was seen as a legitimate author. Yet behind that pride, is a real sense of loss, of growing distance that is almost impossible to explain. And here I am, today, involved in writing works of fiction with no rationale for the work which again steals time from relationships. Do I simply say ‘I am a writer and that is how it is in a writer’s world?’ Or do I examine it closely to discover why I have fallen out of being present in the lives of those who mean the most to me. What is more important?
I guess my life has always put others first so as to make relationship nurturing. As a husband and as a father, and now as a grandfather my role is clear – only it isn’t so clear anymore. I have a choice to make. Bury the writer so that all of these precious others in my life know that they are loved and validated as precious beings; or, drift away into a solitary universe leaving behind those who then feel abandoned by the person who was supposed to love them and be there for them forever. It seems a lose-lose choice to me.
Today, this blog is the extent of my writing, as it was yesterday and the day before. All other writing has stopped so that I have more hours in my day for being present. Yes, I am more present but the problem that now surfaces is that I feel hollow, a straw man. And so I need to again meditate to find a way out of non-beingness.