Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unexpected Walls

I didn't think my first post would be on something so hard to write about. We all hit walls as writers. We deal with real life, jobs, family. The wall we never see coming, because of it's very nature is grief. We crash into it, headfirst, it breaks us open, exposes our innards, our soft spots. Artists are precieved to view the world on a more emotional level that "regular" people. They are conduits for emotion, through their chosen medium they are the ultimate creatures of expression and experience. I think this is a bit of bull. Artists don't feel emotions any differently than "regular" people, they just have more practice and perhaps ease in expressing their emotion. As a writer, we have the gift of eloquence, but there are times when we find ourselves at a loss for words. A writer at a loss for words is a cripple, it is a terrible feeling that sits in the pit of your stomach and gnaws away at your stomach lining.
This week I hit my own wall of grief. She was 23, and one of the most passionate people I had ever met. I wasn't the only one who saw her passion. Almost every one who spoke, wrote, facebooked, blogged about her spoke about that passion. At her memorial, I watched those brave friends and family who found this amazing strength just two days after her passing to stand on that stage and find the right words to honor her memory. I am in awe of them. In their wavering heartbroken voices they expressed more beauty and eloquence than any artist I have ever known.
Here I am several days later, and I can't find the right words myself. Just the words that are there. I don't know if they are right, but they are my words.
I once knew a girl brighter than a candle flame in the dark, a searing wondrous light who gave off

such warmth she staved off even the bitterest human emotions. She read "Oh the places you'll go" by Dr.Suess when she felt lost in life. She kept a journal every day of the things she was thankful for, even when her friends made fun of her for it. She had a ten gigwatt smile that never went out. She sang beautifully, she sang for all to hear, she sang every chance she got. She was a fierce lacrosse player. I expected her to be the first female president. I was willing to wait. I wanted to see what she would become, not this, not now.
Her moment wasn't supposed to be now. She was meant to be more than a memory.
Farewell Ariel.


Karen Romano Young said...

Oh, Kristin. I'm so very sorry. Will you tell me more about what happened?

Words -- and writing -- can be all we have in moments like this. You can see from the funeral how important it is to find something to say even when you have nothing to say, and I suspect a lot of what people did was poetry, or story. Was your friend an artist too?

On a practical note, I revised the syllabus as requested (didn't take much) and resent to you and Brian today. My next business will be to read through the material you sent last week. I hope you're moving ahead on your first chapter and assignment.

Sending warm thoughts -- K.

Krazydiamond said...

Unfortunately her death was just one of those random happenings. She slid on some black ice on her way to work, another car hit her, she spent two days in a coma before they declared her brain dead. Still, I guess she had a plan for such an event even so young. She had requested a few years ago not to be kept on life support and have any viable organs harvested in the event. She still saved several lives with her death, because that is the kind of person she was.

I got back to writing the other night with the hope to send you something as soon as possible. I'll also be posting over the next couple of days.

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