I sit here staring at this prompt, mind blank. I’ve put it off all day, not because I don’t know what to write, but because I don’t want to write. Not on this.
But life isn’t like that, is it? It doesn’t let me pick and choose what it throws at me, so why is this so difficult? I could choose to not do this prompt, it isn’t like I’ve signed a contract or something, but I like to write and I won’t let two little words scare me off from doing so.
I think some of the difficulty I’m experiencing comes from the faces, past and future, swirl my thoughts. My grandparents, except for one, gone. The creeping knowledge that as I age, so does the rest of my family and that their time will come too soon. It’s always too soon, right?
Then there are the thoughts of my boys growing up and experiencing their own trials, tribulations, and losses. Those thoughts present themselves with the undertone of a persistent fear they may not get to experience those things at all. I can’t imagine the pain a parent who loses a child goes through, and I hope I never have to find out, but the fear is there.
Some of the problem comes from the fact that this prompt asks for me. It asks that I let you in somewhat. I could write a story about heartbreak, the loss of a loved one, or something else that fits those two words. I’ve done it before, and will do it again. But it asks for me, not the writer me.
Finally, the main part of the problem is that the answer to “show unavoidable pain” is ridiculously easy, yet too huge to pen. Millions upon millions of words have been written on the subject: Life.
Life is unavoidable pain, and the kicker is, the reverse isn’t necessarily true. There is no unavoidable joy. We will lose someone, have our hearts broken, watch loved ones suffer. If we choose to withdraw from all of that, cut all ties to everything that may cause us pain, we suffer from the pains of loneliness and despair. We aren’t built to be alone all the time. There’s a reason solitary confinement is a punishment.
Pain isn’t avoidable at all, no matter how we may try to hide from it or soften the blow. Joy is something we must manufacture, and sometimes we have to work damn hard at it. Some poor souls may never know it, and that itself is painful to understand.
Yet, we have to face that pain, for if we don’t then it consumes and destroys. I didn’t want to write this post and lay bare some (just some) of my fears, but I like creating more than I like hiding.
My ramblings are done, for now at least. Thank you to all who read this, or any of my other works. Your eyes and words are one of the joys I cling to. May your joys far outweigh your pain in the balance of your life.