I woke at 2:00 this morning with a dream.
I was driving a car at night down a highway. It was a smooth peaceful ride and then I came to a corner. As I moved into the corner, the car kept going straight. I grabbed tighter but still wasn't making the turn. I looked down and realized I held onto the gear shift with my right hand and the door handle with my left. I moved my hands to the steering wheel and tried to make the corner as I spun into the gravel. The dream seemed to end there though I was left with the impression of seeing myself land in the trees of the forest.
It didn't take much thought to realize the dream was about my life. I have been in this surrender mode while I await my Mom's pending death from chronic kidney disease. Most of my energy has been focused on her and I've let my own life go. I haven't been steering my life in any direction. It has seemed too difficult to make decisions while my emotions were so high. With the dream, I was clear I needed to make some clear decisions and take what steps I could even though Mom is close to death.
As I lay there not sleeping, I started imagining what her Celebration of Life would be like. She had her own business in a small town and contributed her time, her talent and her dollars to many activities in the community. She wasn't obvious about it. She simply made giving back a part of her life. I know people were touched from the sheer number of cards and emails and texts she's received since she's been living with us.
Then I remembered Jason's Celebration of Life and how powerful that was, all the lives he'd touched in so many ways. He fought his own demons and made bad decisions in the end but he was still making an impact right up until the last few weeks before his death when his world started to fall apart. The power of that impact spoke clearly at his memorial.
I then thought of my life. My circle is small. My first inclination was to make myself wrong. I thought I should expand my circle, get involved in the local community. And, I still could. But what came through loud and clear is the lives I can touch with my words. That is my gift and my calling. I am an introvert and it isn't my nature to be going to meetings and getting involved.
In the past, I've "tried" to convince myself I was a writer. Each time I'd get close but still felt somehow less than and not up to the task. I was pretending.
I'm clear now, writing is my gift and I have an obligation to use it.
Photo credit: Jason Williard (1983-2016)