Writing Through

Writing Through

I carry my writer’s desk within me
Often woken with words
Inscribed on predawn parchment
By dreamscape’s purple pen

Sporadically my desk is laden
With dry cracked petals
Aching reminders of those I love
Imprisoned by death’s deviation

Other days sprinkled with joyful remembering
My husband’s touch
My son’s laughter
Champers by the sea

Periodic foggy confusion
Bone aching weariness seeps and slithers
Meaning and purpose morph into
Why bother

I wrestle despair until
Once again I believe
With my words to navigate
I’ll find my way

Tricia 10/2013

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on October 25, 2013, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This is very beautiful Tricia – I can feel the ache of it. Also, I identify with the idea of carrying the writing desk inside – I get my ideas in the strangest places, never when I’m sat there in front of a page!

    • Thanks so much, Holly. My writer self is stirred by the strangest things, and often at inconvenient times. I will be watching a movie, someone will speak a line that resonates and I’ve learnt over time that if I don’t write in that moment, if I just write down the words that have moved me and return latter, the power disperses and the poem will never be what it could have. I’m lucky I’m at a time and place in my life where I have the freedom, if not always the discipline, to do this.

  2. My morning is just getting underway, Tricia, and I wonder how you’ve spent your day. ox
    Periodically I read the “About triciabertram” paragraph on your blog because you describe so perfectly how writing creates “a small ripple in the pond of fear…” and your hope to use your work to “skim the stones of my truth…” and again today you offer a small picture of how emotional longing and the need to work through the layers and layers of loss and heartache permeates your dreams and sets the emotional tone of each day. You must never know for sure which presence, joy or despair, is going to be the leading voice. “Carrying your writing desk inside” is such a wonderful way to underscore that truth.

    I’m sending you a big hug today, dear Tricia. I hope this weekend has many moments of soft, joyful, gentle memories of your precious loved ones. oxo

    • Dear Debra, as usual I’m late responding. I’m really struggling physically at the moment and that effects me emotionally. I value peoples comments as much as I value the writing of a poem and so I find I must be in the right place to give a genuine response.
      You’re right about my never knowing which will be the ‘leading voice’ each day. I’ve not thought of it in that way before but your words are perfect. The only thing I know for sure is that my writing is the thing that keeps me going. I responded to an email from my writers group a week or so ago with ‘I’ve been writing. This pleases me.’. Two 3 word sentences that sum up my life these days.
      Thanks for the hugs. I’m one of life’s touchy feely people and love the giving and receiving of hugs.
      Take care my friend
      Big hugs

  3. Tricia, you have taken me through the very different emotions of grief and very gently and beautifully.

    You have made me realise that, although it is nowhere near to where you are with your petsonal grief, i am grieving for who I was before my illness. I have days of despair so very close to days of joy and hope, it sometimes becomes very confusing and I feel lost in the middle of nowhere.

    Writing your roads of grief leave me feeling grateful for your loving friendship because you are a courageous, strong, caring and beautifully funny woman and I love you ❤

    • My wonderful Christine, your words resonate so. I too grieve for who I was and the things I can no longer do. It’s a form of disenfranchised grief. So many people don’t understand, blow off in some way or diminish our deep sorrow.
      I know people mean well but no one gets why I hate the idea of internet shopping. My brother and sister do most of my shopping but I still try to do some myself, it’s a way of pretending that I can still do this thing I loved so much. But I realise it’s not fair on my brother and sister who are both older than me. Then last Friday I collapsed in my little local supermarket, taking a stand of avocados with me. There was me, my walker, my oxygen, spreadeagled on the floor surrounded by dozens of avocados. Oh and a little bit more information than you probably want, I don’t wear underwear anymore because it’s too difficult to put on, I wear long kaftans but the kaftan was up and my large bum with like the great pumpkin in an avocado patch. 🙂
      I had to lie through my teeth to stop them from calling an ambulance, told them I tripped on my oxygen lead. When I finally got home I wept for an hour as I finally came to terms with the fact that it was time for me to do the internet thing. I think baring ones bum in the supermarket is crossing some sort of line. 🙂 Even though I’m joking about it, I’m indescribably sad and shitty.
      Oh my I have gone on.
      Much love to you my dear Christine
      Big hugsTriciaxoxxo

  4. Oh Tricia.

    Your words make me catch my breath every time. The images you conjure – not to mention the emotions.

    This poem so perfectly explains the title of your blog too (perhaps you should link to it in your about as it’s also such a beautiful example of your poetic skill).

    I wonder where you would be without your words. In fact I dread to think. I’m glad you do have your words because they are beautiful and your poetry says more than many hours of conversation could ever convey. Thinking of you today and always. You’ve fast become a treasured friend. P xxx

    • Pooky, I too think of you as a treasured friend. The more I know you the more I care about you. You have this gift for engaging people, you are genuinely interested in the lives of others and that comes across so powerfully in your poetry and your comments.
      I do like your idea of somehow linking this poem to my blog intro. I think as my blog evolves it’s time for something different. I shall think on this.
      As for where I would be without my writing, I can’t begin to imagine. Actually I can, I wouldn’t be here.
      Hope your holiday was everything you wanted.

  5. Lovely, evocative description of your process. Thankyou.

  6. Oh Tricia, I can imagine how norrible this experience was for you. And dont worry, I can see and hear and feel the sadness and shittiness through your lighthearted comment. I, too, went for a horrible rumble about a year ago when the MS got the better of me in my local supermarket. I banged my head on the floor so hard I saw extra lights that were coming from behind my eyes. And I also lied through my teeth so I could just get home. They had me signing (trying to!) accident sheets etc and I just wanted them all to piss off! It shakes us up beyond belief. Did you need to seek meical help re your collapse or was it something familiar? I want to give you a big hug. (((Tricia))).

    I have had to give in with shopping and do all mine online. I know I have John here and am very grateful for that, but there are lots of things he simply gets wrong. He is extremely intelligent with a brilliant mathematical brain, but give him a ahopping list… and I buy clothes online too. But when my daughters have ime we sometimes go to maybe one clothes shop, but I dont enjoy it, its too much like hard work and I cant try anything on so theres no point really. I do so miss the shopping, all that browsing and maybe trying something new you just come across while there.

    Oh dear, now Ive gone on! Although actually, I don’t see it as both of us going on; we are having a conversation which Im sure is benefiting us both. It certainly is good for me 😊

    Lots of love
    And big hugs

    • Dear Christine, I’m sorry It’s taken me so long to respond to this comment. If I don’t reply straight away then I can forget. I particularly wanted to respond to this because I so understand about people getting the wrong things. I want to be grateful and I am, but inside I do get cross and then I feel guilty. It’s so frustrating. I have this internal conversation “You should be grateful, you are so lucky people help you” to which I respond “Why the f**k should I be grateful. My child’s dead, my husband’s dead and now my body is dying too bloody slowly.” Honestly, Christine, I hear myself and even I want to say – shut up you petulant child. I really am lucky compared to many people, but that doesn’t always help. Every now and then I have to let, Miss Shitty, out to have her say. Of course only the bears hear me. 🙂
      As for why I passed out, I saw my health psychologist and we both know I’ve had an infection for a couple of months and I’m being stubborn because I want to get through one year without spending a month in hospital. But between working hard to keep me breathing and then fighting the infection, my body has nothing left. She said if I push it I’m likely to fall down again. My Freefall writing mentor is out from Canada and is coming to have dinner here next week, my sister is helping and my writer’s group are all bringing food. I’m so looking forward to this and then I’m treating my darling niece and her wonderful husband to a birthday lunch at a special restaurant the following week. I’ve promised I’ll have some tests done and see the specialist after that.
      I’m so glad I have you to share these things with. You’re the only person I know who really gets it and that means so much. Of course I do wish we had being famous authors in common rather than chronic illness, but we don’t and sometimes it sucks.
      Love you so very much my precious friend,
      Tricia xoxo

  7. Im so pleased you are having this gathering at your home, I wish I could be there too! Oops, I just invited myself!!! 😊

    And, of course, in my previous comment I meant a “tumble” in the supermarket rather than a “rumble”!! Rumble, , tumble, ts all the same!

    Yes sometimes it does suck, in fact it sucks all the time but we manage the “suckyness” better on some days than others.

    Love you lots ❤ xx

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