ON RECURRING THEMES
About two weeks ago I sat down with a pen and paper to take stock of themes from my stories. I'm applying for a grant in December. The requirements are simple (Thank God!) but it does call for me to do a little searching into my own artistic soul. When I think about it I imagine flipping my skin inside out in front of a small council and letting them examine my insides, which I'm perfectly fine with.
One of the questions that needed to be answered is WHAT IS MY ARTISTIC STATEMENT? They want to know my WHY. Why do I write? What do I plan to accomplish?
It was probably the easiest paragraph to write out of all the others I had to do, but it made me think. Yes, I want to entertain, but part of the entertainment is the reader's ability to relate. For there to be a connection. That's what led to pen and paper. I looked at all the stories I've written, finished and almost finished, and was surprised at which themes were recurring. Among them was grieving loved ones. To be more precise, the wrong way of grieving.
In He's You, a married couple's son is in a coma. The doctors expect for him to die. Terrified of dealing with this outcome, the parents clone him. The boy miraculously pulls through, and then there was two of him. In Two of the Same Kind, a mother lost her husband and daughter. She still has her son, but she cries a lot and makes him wear girl dresses around the house. In my most recent short story (the one I wrote for a reading at a coffee shop) a lady has lost her husband and daughter, too. She feels the urgency for change and wants to go somewhere. She makes hasty decisions, including selling everything in the house and sleeping with a man just so she can afford the downpayment on a new car.
Why was grieving the loss of a loved one a recurring theme? I didn't know. It's nothing I've ever dwelt on. I don't sit around worrying about what I'd do if I lost someone close to me. But you know what? I haven't experienced it. I have my husband, my children, parents, my siblings, aunts and uncles. I've never lost anyone really close to me. Now that I think about it, it scares the crap out of me. To lose anyone is devestating, and for it to be a child or my husband...
Those stories that I've written are about grieving the wrong way. I FEAR grieving the wrong way.
It's a black hole...
A black whole with big sharp teeth around the edges...
A montruous mouth that is depression, that wants TO EAT ME...
Like I said, it was a surprise. A bit of self-discovery. Awareness is important, right? You have more of a chance not to fall into a hole if you know the hole is there.
If you haven't already, check out The Missing Loved Ones. You'll be really helping me if you buy a signed paperback. See you next time!