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Beating oneself into submission, perhaps.

December 20, 2021
What a hike! Gunther fell asleep in his water dish when we got back to our car.

December 20, 2021

The past two years have brought much grief and loss to many of us.  And yet we try to put one day in front of the last.  Many happy futures might help ameliorate and cushion the last.  How are we to go on?  

The same as I often dream guilty memories, things done and left undone, a path toward the North stretches through the wooded valley.  I see Kalispell Rock in the distance, standing proudly amid the aspen.  The aspen, because the hillside has been clearcut of pine, fir, larch, and cedar.  The scrubby aspen allows us to slide down the hillside, but prevents easy passage up.  Not easy if you are trying to reach Kalispell Rock.  Best way is to find your way to the ridgeline between the Colville and Priest Lake drainages, then follow North along an ancient trail.

North is the mysterious, cold region of death and the resting phase, always followed by East, South, West.  Never been different, really.  East for awakening, South for work, West for harvest, then resting again.

I go on and on like this because I “cannot write.”  If I could write, I would have written professionally.  You see, I never did.  Now I am at wits end, wanting to scribble some sense, not able to.

I do not want to be talked out of my grief, I came by it honestly and I own it. I lost my best and oldest friend on the planet, Mike Fiedler, amongst a list of other dear friends who have passed on, over the great divide. I’m thinking of Lloyd Yellowrobe and others. I do not need reassurance of my ability to scrawl words. I scrawl many words, and many of those words could well be edited out. Editing didn’t hurt me, never did hurt me. My folksy voice does me no favors. Needs editing. I grimace.

A dear friend, Duke LaRance, berated himself, shouted curses at himself as he wrote. I was incredulous at first, but he is having fair success these days, so I am thinking, not such a bad method. I may hope for success like his.

I learned in college that I cannot write, paid plenty for a professor to beat it into my head. Slowly, like ice melting, I’ve regained my courage, my writer’s voice, my ability to put one thing after another. It’s good. Friends who are encouraging are good.

I’m thinking of hiring a counselor again, one who will make me pay attention to my stories, the ones I am writing for my grandchildren.

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  1. Kate aka Space Lady Katie permalink

    Dan! Of course “you can write”!! Many of us wait hopefully for your words. I can’t imagine why a professor would tell you that. You have been writing your whole life, and bringing joy and meaning into our lives via your efforts. Let your self-expression continue through this period of sadness.

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