Writing is a bit like excavation; you dig up more bitter than sweet most of the time. I am beginning to understand why our band of experienced writers has dwindled . Yesterday I looked at the original email list. Half the people have left. One friend who left told me, " Robin, I just couldn't handle it. I didn't want to think about all those memories. It made me feel like I might lose control." I understood. She has two young children to raise, to "stay in control for".
I've been talking to Thelma Nason, a 90 year old writer I help out one night a week. Tima ( her other name) spent seven years writing " Ethel, A Fictional Autobiography " the book is about Ethel Rosenberg. Tima was struck by the excruciating choice Ethel made to go to the electric chair when she had two young boys; at the time Tima had children the same ages. She told me, " I felt people needed to think about Ethel as a mother and the terrible choice she was forced to make."
Tima is a very beautiful ,intelligent woman. She taught at John Hopkins where she became friends with Tillie Olsen. She also went to Mac Dowell and The Virginia Writers Center. There is much to learn from other writers especially those who lived through the depression, WWII and the Red Scare.
I love my Thursday nights with Tima. We read Mary Oliver poems, talk about other writers we like and we talk about life. The last time we talked about writing she said, " When you write I think you discover yourself."
We all have sadness in our lives. I'll embrace it, then let it go. A walk in the peaceful woods of
Punkatasset always does the trick.