A Test of Wills

I have been writing since I was young. A hobby which was encouraged by my grandma. If time had allowed her I believe she would have gone to college to become a teacher. As a consolation prize however, she became my early tutor. I learned to read at three years old, mind you this wasn’t an easy task. She would set the timer and read to me easy books and then when the timer was up I would have to read the book back to her. I fumbled a lot, I remember it being really frustrating. She had a way with words, a flare if you will that made listening easy. She was probably one of the best story tellers I have ever met. She had a natural talent for writing and poetry and she encouraged me to write my own. I can boastfully say I grew up with homemade children stories read to me. She proceeded J.K. Rowling but a few decades. The stories varied between animals, fairies, people or whatever she decided to write about. She always wrote everything with such imagery that you felt you could touch the scene or the character.

I went on to write stories, poetry and taking creative writing courses all through school. I think there was no one more excited than her about this. When I would enter my poems into contests she would always support me and make me feel like I could write anything. So of course in the off chance they were published or won it was just an added bonus. It didn’t matter what she wrote about, sad times or happy ones she managed to give of herself to the page. This was a skill I wanted more than anything. I would always have her read them, and she would offer her advice for which I was always thankful for.

Then my poetry muse and matriarch started to get ill. She started to forget things, events, and people. Small things at first of course like the toast in the oven and the glass of milk in the cabinet. But, it began to progress in a cruel tortuous dance. The poems that she would write during the afternoons while bored started to lose clarity. I found myself offering advice, which was a precarious place for me. I had become the “teachers aid” to her writing. She would drift through a forest of confusing thought and just like life she would stumble on a clearing in her mind. Then she was just as before, talking about past days, and trips to the beach. But, the clearing would soon fill with fog and her vantage point would be lost once again, and me with it.

One of the last times I visited her while she was in hospice care she asked about her writing. It was as if she finally realized her life was finite and she wanted a piece of her genius to remain. I told her that she had given me all of her writing awhile back and I had it in safe keeping. She laid back and closed her eyes and seemed to relax. I watched the tension that had temporarily been placed there removed. I knew at this moment that I would try my best to maintain her work and if I could I would find a way to keep her writing going. I would write for the both of us, and for awhile I did. I had under estimated one thing though, not being able to show her my writing would become the hardest thing of all. Overwhelmed I decided to take a sabbatical.

Years later while searching through copious magazines on a magazine rack. I came across a magazine cover that sparked my interest. I was no stranger to this particular bookstore but I had never seen this publication before. It was for writers and poets and on the cover stated ” Over 115 Writing Contests with Upcoming Deadlines!” This was perhaps the jolt I had been searching for. I had been annoyed with my writing and coming across the magazine cover had given me renewal. The feeling reminded me of times lost. When I would fuss over my poem or my short story and my grandma would tell me it’s great. After much deliberation I have decided to enter one of the poetry contests. My only hope is wherever my grandma is she can send me her reassuring energy one more time. ❤️image

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