Yesterday I wrote the introduction to my book. I haven’t reread it yet; I sent it to a friend on a message from beyond that told me to, terrified out of my gourd, asking her to please read it and tell me I wasn’t crazy. At that point I was only about halfway through, and she told me I wasn’t crazy in not so many words. So I sent her the whole introduction when I was done, after I told her I guess she is my test reader.
She hasn’t replied yet, and I’m trying not to do the whole Imposter Syndrome freakout because she is a total night owl, but inside there is a gibbering maniac trying to flay my soul from the inside out, because I really am crazy and I have the documents to prove it.
I tell my husband all the time that the best gift he could give me are the actual, literal Arkham Asylum Inmate Certificates that the HP Lovecraft Society sells. He always forgets.
Writing what I wrote yesterday was just as emotionally grueling as I knew it would be. Just as psychically exhausting. Just as spiritually corrosive. Just as physically painful. I felt like one of those old timey punching bags by the end of the day. Brown, stained leather. Nasty leather full of blood and sweat and grime just caked into that ancient cured flesh. Leather that has been punched and pummeled so many times it’s cracked and splintered and feathered to seamed, soft aged shapelessness. A punching bag suspended from it’s anchor and chains with a sad, pitiful sighing despair because it’s just DONE IN. Oozing stuffing at the seams because it can’t hold it’s guts in anymore, but it’s casing is so hard and tough it does it anyway, because that’s it’s purpose. I was that ancient old timey punching bag last night. I finished my writing and just lay here on my couch and puddled, stupefied.
But it felt good, in spite of all that. Because for the first time I got some stuff out all together in one place in a mostly coherent and linear way. I felt cleansed of something rotten, and by cleansing myself of it I felt I was giving a gift. I feel I have already given many, many gifts: the greatest being my children. My children have grown into glorious adults, and are continuing to grow more glorious every day…in spite of making mistakes. Their mistakes, and how they learn from them, make them even more glorious. Look at my precious gifts, how they bloom in fire and water! And last night, even in my gross punching bag state, I still felt like I was giving a gift. It was a nothing, really, a bad spot of word vomit, but still something.
If I don’t DARE, I’ve spent my life being a hypocrite. Even if it’s bad, at least I dared.