Each life has its place

There was a moment on this week’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” that will live in my head for quite some time.

Our beloved Miranda Bailey, constantly trapped at her computer to stare at boring research about genomes that kept her out of the operating room she loves so much, got pulled into a surgery she didn’t have time to perform.

(Insert “staring at numbers” and “doing the writing she loves so much,” and guess who we’re talking about.)

Meanwhile I’ve been cursing a writing project in very much the same way.

The surgery gave Bailey a brilliant breakthrough idea that would catapult her research from the point where she was stuck.

I … haven’t quite gotten that inspiration.

Writing has become that thing I used to do. Like a high school football or cheerleading star looks back after 20 or 40 years and fondly recalls when it all seemed so important and yet so effortless with the benefit of youth on our side.

I tried to think about my book characters for the series I started writing 25 years ago. And I wondered if I should just have a mental funeral for them. I have come to hate writing that much.

But I’m not sure how to define myself without it. In fact, I’m not certain how to define myself at all these days.

I think of my mom and what makes her special. She will always say that I was the best thing she ever did with her life. I imagine most parents feel that way. What makes my mom special is that she makes everything more-beautiful.

She’s artistic and creative and kind and caring. She can match a shade of blue bought in a dress in Pittsburgh with the perfect matching blue shoes in Virginia and a blue hair accessory found on a random trip to the Florida Keys.

She can, for under $35, pull together an entire house in lime greens and magentas and purples and turquoises to make it look like an Easter spread from a high-end magazine.

She can, after everyone else has tried to trample my soul, reinflate it with a, “Well, you’re happy inside and they aren’t. And you look skinny, too. Fuck everyone else.”

And so on.

But I’m the only one who sees all that.

And I wonder if, whatever makes me special — whatever that is — will ever be visible to anyone but my mom and my cat. And whether I’ll have my Bailey-like inspiration and finally, finally do something the world is going to appreciate.

Maybe I just need to stop caring about what the world thinks. And that will be the jumping-off point I’ve missed up till now …

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