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I have been reading old things today. Things I wrote describing the ravages of my illness, my crushing loneliness and my pain. Other things too, written by my daughter when she was going through what was the worst period in her life.

While doing this I realized I have forgotten how to write. I have forgotten how to pull the thoughts and feelings from deep within me and draw them on the page to express thoughts of pain, confusion, loneliness and joy.

I wonder if there is something about emotional pain that gives a person the ability to move beyond the average and grasp what is extraordinary and beautiful, even while describing the desolation that crisis brings.

What has changed for us? The changes were almost hard to describe because they were so average. My older daughter graduated from law school, had children and began working in a job she really loved. She moved all that creative energy into the interaction with her family and the people that counted on her at work. She stopped listening to the latest music and going to nightclubs at absurd hours. She stopped reaching for all the creative expressions of others and channeled her own into making her life good.

Where did my creative expression go? Hell, I don’t know. I guess it went to sleep. It went to sleep while I was doing yoga to quiet the pain in my body. It went to sleep while I was researching herbal remedies. It went to sleep when I was checking on my mother’s daily schedule. It went to sleep when I was taking care of my grandchildren or talking with my husband over a glass of wine about his day. It went to sleep when I was seeing visions and thinking about their beauty and mystery instead of writing about fear and problems.

I guess it went to sleep when I encountered a feeling that I had missed for a long time: happiness.

It bothers me that the creativity I had once counted on seems to be sleeping. What would I sacrifice to wake it up? Not the quiet happiness that I have found. Perhaps it was a phase in my life that has ended. If so I look forward to what will come to replace it.

I look at my daughter and see her life brimming with gifts and know that whatever went to sleep in her was replaced by something much dearer.