You can’t tell or it won’t come true …

happy birthday cupcake At the keyboard I could lose myself in pages dissecting love. What else, after all, is my job as a wife, mother, daughter, and sister, but to love? We writers cut ourselves apart each time we put pen to paper, searching through the past and the pending for that ultimate point of light, the perfect way to expose the world in just the right way to show our truth.

But to bare all is to risk spilling a trail of white blood as the page itself bleeds with burning words that turn this craft into a betrayal rather than an act of love.

I can still see the candles of this year’s birthday cake, my children’s faces reflected in their glow.

“Make a wish, Mommy!”

I blew out the candles, but didn’t get them all in one breath. And the lighting wasn’t good for the photo.

So the candles were lit again, which was great, because I hadn’t been able to think of a wish the first time. Well, not a real, “I want it with every fiber of my being” kind of wish.

“Make a wish, Mommy!” the twins said again. I looked from their perfect, innocent faces to the candles dripping wax on the cream cheese icing, and I had my wish. A wish I could wish with my whole heart. They helped me blow out the candles, and the second time, between the three of us, we got them.

I wish I could stop being too aware of the pending; to write my truth about the now, without fearing reactions that make me feel silenced. I wish I could feel comfortable writing that the top of the cake was spattered with blue wax and a fair amount of child spittle, and that it was delicious and we all ate it anyway without a second thought. I wish I could pour my soul onto these pages and hit “publish” without fear. Fear of exposing anything too personal about my children, fear of angering people who might not want to be mentioned in my personal writings, fear of more real world consequences like having my primary care doctor fire me from his practice after reading a blog post.

Oh, I wish. I wish I could write about the parts of my children’s education that keep me up at night without wondering if the whole PTA will have read it by the next meeting. I wish certain of my friends in real life weren’t uncomfortable with the fact that I write about depression, anxiety, and postpartum depression.

Sometimes I even wish I’d thought to be guarded enough to make my blog anonymous so that I could say anything.

And yet, I wish for the courage to stay here, to keep my name, and to write it all anyway. I wish for the wisdom to practice this craft responsibly, without recklessness, and yet honestly. And for the strength to withstand the consequences that may bring.

 

 

This piece was written for the online writers’ workshop Write on Edge. This week’s prompt was part of their new challenge to write at the merge of two ideas. For this prompt we were given the word “wish,” and the song “Past and Pending” by The Shins. This new Write at the Merge challenge has a standing 500 word limit.

 

Write at the Merge

Write at the Merge

 

 

Sharing. It's not just for toddlers.
13 Responses to You can’t tell or it won’t come true …
  1. thedoseofreality
    January 3, 2013 | 4:36 pm

    Amazing Angie. I get it. I really, honestly do. And your writing is phenomenal, so whatever you do, don’t give up your public voice. Allow people to see the you behind the words, because it is validating and real. :)-Ashley

    • Angie
      January 3, 2013 | 4:50 pm

      Thank you, Ashley. It’s just hard as the kids get older and the issues get more serious, and, quite frankly, as your voice spreads over a wider audience (which is a great thing!) to know how to be responsible with the craft, when the craft includes so much memoir. They aren’t all my stories.

      • Angie
        January 3, 2013 | 4:52 pm

        That didn’t sound right. They are my stories, but they are also the stories of other people, and the telling of them impacts those other people.

        Know what I mean?

  2. angela
    January 3, 2013 | 10:28 pm

    It’s a complicated dance, this non-anonymous blogging. It can be hard to find the right balance between sharing your own experiences without taking liberties with the feelings of others. In theory, it should be the writer’s discretion, but in reality you’re talking about people in our day-to-day lives.

    For what it’s worth, everything I read from you seems to tell your story through your own filter; you don’t take liberties with the feelings or motivations of others.

    • Angie
      January 4, 2013 | 10:03 am

      It’s worth a lot, Angela, thank you. It is a complicated dance, and sometimes I feel like I’ve got two left feet!

  3. Carole Roth
    January 4, 2013 | 9:30 am

    Writing is like producing any art:painting, drawing, composing or performing music……You put yourself “out there” OPENING yourself to scrutiny, analysis, criticism. It takes guts to do it! Write on sister!

    • Angie
      January 4, 2013 | 10:02 am

      Guts or insanity. :)

  4. AmyBeth Inverness
    January 4, 2013 | 3:51 pm

    I believe that honest blogs, the ones where we pour out our hearts about everything we really think and feel are one small step towards a collective consciousness. There’s nothing more important than realizing that one is not alone. Other people feel these things too. In particular, the post-partum depression is something that is so pervasive and yet so counter-intuitive… should be be OVERJOYED when we bring a baby home? It’s when we think our own feeling are somehow that we do ourselves the most damage.

    • Angie
      January 4, 2013 | 7:07 pm

      Oooh, collective consciousness! We are Blog…resistance is futile.

      (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)

      Thank you for your incredibly thoughtful comment, AmyBeth. You got it in a nutshell, the reason I continue to write. Connection. Ironically, it’s easy to feel that you’re alone as a writer/blogger in the struggle to share our lives while trying to protect our families and friends.

  5. Write on Edge
    January 4, 2013 | 9:58 pm

    Oh, Angie, every time.. yes.

    “But to bare all is to risk spilling a trail of white blood as the page itself bleeds with burning words that turn this craft into a betrayal rather than an act of love.”

    I am all breathless. And then you and AmyBeth giggling over collective consciousness jokes. Perfect.

    ~Cam

  6. shelton keys dunning
    January 5, 2013 | 12:23 am

    Oh don’t be scared, we’re all in this together right? Always write with an honest heart and the chaff will fall away from the wheat. Just focus on what you want your blog to represent for you and go for it.

    Love where this prompt took you. It felt raw and hopeful. Well done!

  7. IASoupMama
    January 6, 2013 | 9:30 pm

    There are times that I feel very exposed when blogging about what’s going on in my life. I once had a friend tell me that she’d heard gossip that my marriage was falling apart, which isn’t anywhere near true, but people inferred that from a post on my blog, sigh. But I don’t know how to reach that moment of truth without exposing my nougat. It’s a hard line to walk.

  8. Alison
    January 30, 2013 | 6:48 pm

    Angie, I know exactly how you feel. Which is why there are SO many things I don’t write about. Or at least, I don’t publish. I want my blog to be a place where I capture memories of my kids, and of the now, but I guess it’d always have to be from my point of view, it’d have to be MY story in a sense. When my kids are older and understand that I am putting part of their lives online, I will ask for permission before I write and publish something.

    Because more important than memory capturing, is respecting the ones we love.

    PS: I have thought about starting an anonymous blog so many times!

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