I don’t exactly have writer’s block, more like thinker’s anesthesia. At the moment, my heart is calling the shots and in my state of sadness, my heart has my brain in some sort of wrestling hold, of which hypoxia must be the by-product and it’s causing a numbing sensation that prevents me from working on my novel today. How else am I able to explain the reason I’m floundering at putting words together to make a meaningful sentence. After all, I’ve presented workshops on techniques for dismantling blocks for creative types. However, the techniques I suggest to unstop the flow and move imagination front and center were not grief tested. Until now.
Last Thursday, I arrived in West Palm Beach and after dumping suitcases at a hotel, I presented my ID at Good Samaritan Hospital. Between the time the security person took my photo, clicked computer keys, then provided a sticky name badge that gave me access to ICU, I observed my surroundings. The similarities between a hotel and hospital struck me as ironic. Both have fountains in their courtyard, a lobby with green plants, and both have lots rooms – for a price – with amenities like TVs and beds. From the moment of my arrival in south Florida, my world became H&H – hospital and hotel. Until now.
I won’t go into much detail except to say that Clara, my best friend since college days, died yesterday after living with a debilitating, deforming disease for many long years, surviving cancer (doctors refused to do chemo or radiation on her because of her scleroderma), and a long hospital stay after a bout with pneumonia. I am happy that she is free of pain, though sad because I miss her. I know I will see her again, but not until…
Clara Villaman is an example of someone who never gave up. Her last email instructed me to stay the course after I’d told her about a publisher’s rejection. She asked when I would query again. I said, “Not until…”
Her response was direct, short, and sweet. “Now.”
All we have is “now.” Yesterday is gone and tomorrow will never get here. Now is when we breathe and live. There is no waiting for until. So, in her passing, let Clara’s word be a beacon of light for you. Don’t wait. Whatever it is – do it.
P.S. If you check out my website, you will find my bio in English and Spanish. Clara did the translation for me, something we were proud of.