Grumbling Girl Friday Round-Up

My dog is in his crate. This is because it is raining, earlier there was lightening, and heavy winds are predicted for later. He is whining, ever so slightly, but I am undeterred. I cannot have him leaping at me in the middle of the night, cannot have his big wolfy face, however friendly it might seem, panting over me in the dark, the streetlight offering the only illumination. I have no problem with my hard-heartedness. I’ve soothed the dog enough. I need soothing.

It has been seven years that my friend’s two children died within 33 days of each other. It was a grief so large that even second-hand it glowed like molten steel sluicing down the chute in one of those steel plants in Gary, Indiana – hot and dangerous and maiming. Polite people wouldn’t talk about it, I guess, but it seems too important an event to go unnoticed, to pass without comment They were beautiful, loved children, and they died.

There are 10,000 writers on every block. Everywhere you turn there are writing groups and writing boot camps and finish your novel sessions. That is good. Self-expression is good. But the sea of writers suggests that one ought not to get too absorbed in one’s own brilliance. Or think that one is unusually special beyond the artful turn of a phrase, which is my specialty.

I’m going to write a short story tomorrow if it kills me. I don’t have a plot or a character or even a shred of an idea but I’m going to have a short story written by dinner time tomorrow. Maybe a story about Lake Superior or dogs that run away or friends that miscommunicate or important notes lost under the car seat or some kind of extraordinary triumph. It’s kind of a blank slate.

I’ve been in better moods. But there’s nothing wrong with me that a good night’s sleep won’t fix. I say this channeling my mother who always seemed to sleep okay but was still pretty relentlessly down. I’m not that way except right now. Its a situation that will pass, that much I know. I’ve waited a lot of things out and been the better for it.

6 Comments on “Grumbling Girl Friday Round-Up

  1. Jan, your image of the pain with children’s deaths is breathtaking. Words to describe that kind of grief are almost impossible, but you’ve done it. THANK YOU! And, I hope people began to talk about it – and listen to each other about it.

  2. have you tried a ‘thundershirt’ on your dog? my friend puts one on hers and it really helps him through the loud storms. so incredibly tragic about your friend’s children. the pain never leaves

    • Yes, on the thundershirt. And meds. We’ve set up the crate with a blanket over it which does help for a while. I think he’s a pretty extreme case which is weird for a dog that lived outside for so long…but maybe that’s why. Who knows?

      • yes, he probably had to endure many scary things without protection. my cat is still very skittish after being found in a caboose with babies and living with me for 4 years, but the sweetest thing ever

  3. Dogs are like that during thunderstorms. They seem to need nurturing.

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