Friday, December 12, 2014

The book: Moving ahead...

It was three weeks ago today that Dad passed away.  I'm still in a great state of grief, more than that even, about it.  There's a real shock that comes with seeing someone so close to you suddenly leaving you like that.  But I still believe that there was something of God's hand in how things played out.  If the circumstances had been slightly different in any of a thousand different ways, my family would not have had those sixteen days to be with him.  In the end, if God had to take him after so long a bountiful, fulfilling and loving life, it came about in what I can only call the best of all possible outcomes.

That said, I still grieve.  There is no small measure of confusion about certain matters.  And I would be remiss if I did not mention that there have been a number of times during these past three weeks that clinical depression has hit and coincided with that profound sadness.  I was going to visit a church this past Sunday morning but couldn't muster myself to get out of bed, much less be aroused to shave and shower.  That did eventually come, but by then it was too late to attend a service.

I don't think these things are really avoidable.  They're part of the process, and it can't be rushed through.  I don't think God intended them to be rushed through.  This is pain, and it cannot be averted.  But it will pass, and I know that Dad would want me to move on with my life and take everything good that he gave me with me along the journey.

It hasn't happened yet, not enough that I can really do it, but I'm coming to a place where I can begin work again on the book.  Maybe next week it will happen.  I haven't written anything serious for it since a few days before Halloween, five days before Dad had his stroke.  He had told me to take a break for awhile.  Here it is more than a month and a half later and the only thing I've done in the intervening period is re-write the prologue in a different tense and compose one very brief "interlude" meant for between the chapters.  And I did those mostly to get my mind off of things, for however brief a time I had.

Next week, I'm going to start tackling this again.  I'm pretty sure of it.

Like I said, this is a process and it can't be hurried through for my own sake.  But I do see the signs of healing.  The sessions with my counselor have become weekly, and in them I see markers along the way.  I have been learning some Christmas songs during my dulcimer lessons.  Last week I was asked to help backstage with the local theatre guild's production of It's A Wonderful Life: The Musical.  Tonight is opening night, and it has been a good thing for me to be around such a great bunch of people and working with them to pull off such an amazing production.  It has been a good thing for me to be around people in general, rather than cooped-up with nothing but my dog and the depression.  Okay, Tammy has been a great presence in my life during all this time and she's definitely someone who has shown me an amazing amount of love and understanding but, well... it helps to hear a real human voice too, ya understand...

This isn't going to be much of a Christmas season for me.  I think that's okay.  I was becoming too burned-out on Christmas becoming so over-commercialized anyway.  The previous six weeks have left my entire family exhausted, truth be told.  We are going to have a small get-together on Christmas morning and I will be watching the Doctor Who Christmas special that night and that will be it.  No giving gifts and I ask to not be given any.  All I ask of my friends and family is to hold each other close and thank God for being in each others' lives and be grateful for having things better than any of us could possibly deserve.  I won't be celebrating Christmas, for the most part.  And right now, that's fine.

This is a process.  Like life itself.  It hurts to go through this right now, but I am trusting God that this will be something that in the end will make me a stronger person.  I see it already.  And I believe that eventually I will see that this period of my life will have been not only for my own benefit, but for that of those close to me and for the sake of things like the book.

Speaking of which: my book now has a new title.

The idea for it hit me during the past few days, I think maybe Tuesday morning.  At first I thought it was too... I dunno... small, perhaps?  But the more I thought about it the more I realized that there is not only power in its brevity, but that it encapsulates a tremendous deal about the nature of bipolar disorder.  It also reflects a passage from the Bible that was invoked during Dad's funeral service: something pertaining to the nature of his handiwork.

I think it's the perfect title.  And I think Dad would like it too.

Dad wouldn't want me to linger in grief.  He would want me to move forward.  To "always think positive" as he was fond of saying often.  I still have hopes of marrying and having children, maybe someday I will get to see many a Christmas through their eyes.  If I can finish writing this book, perhaps there will be more.  My bipolar is becoming more manageable, I can see it held at bay by the medications and the counseling more than ever.

Dad got to see that, before he left us.  I like to believe that even if he didn't see it happen, that he knew that I would be okay.  That he got to see me come to the place where God has been leading me toward for all of this time.

And now it's time to honor him by living my life to its fullest as it's never been possible to do before.

Starting with finishing writing my book.

3 comments:

Pete said...

Chris,

After reading this something was laid on my heart to share with you and I think you would be well to consider some things.

You took care of your mother. It seems that you took care of your father. You have done everything that the Bible teaches about what children are to do for their parents. Indeed it seems that you did more than most people. All that time you did it without wanting reward or approval. You gave everything.

You are still young. And the whole world is open to you now. You can go anywhere, do anything. Yes you can be a husband and have children, but it doesn't have to be there where you live now.

Chris, open your heart to places beyond Reidsville. To quote from a movie "you don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything." And you have. You have gone as far as you can with Reidsville.

Don't limit your vision to your old hometown. You mention It's a Wonderful Life. Well you get to leave Bedford Falls in a way that George could not.

Don't restrict yourself to Reidsville any more. Look to God to guide you where he wants you to be. You can go anywhere, you can find opportunities in places you never dreamed of before. Take Tammy with you too. The world is wide open for you.Your mom and dad want you to be happy. You get to have that now and somewhere out there is a woman who will want you to be the happiness in her life. You did everything that anyone has ever asked of you. It's time to think about Chris Knight and what he wants and to have happiness at last.

Please think about that, 'kay?

Wherever you go, please keep up the blog. I visit at least 1 day a week. Be happy but be blogging too! You've a lot of people out there counting on you :)

All the best,
Pete,
Missouri

Emily Y said...

What was the original title? Or would it give away too much? Very excited to follow along with your writing!

Chris Knight said...

Pete: you aren't the only one who has been suggesting as much.

Emily:

"What was the original title? Or would it give away too much?"

Hmmmmm... how do I answer this?

Okay, I'll say this about it for now. The first title was two words, and five syllables. The new title is four words, four syllables.

I really wish now that this had been the title all along. It took me a long time to hit upon the first one, and that's been what I've been going with since June. Six months later and the new one is FAR more appropriate. It also sounds better when you speak it.

Maybe I couldn't have come up with the new title until now. Perhaps I had to go through some things before I could hit upon it. Maybe God needed me to be in a situation where only then did the title present itself.

Anyhoo, I like this one much more than the original. The few people I've shared it with agree that they like it much better too. It's a combination of words that has never been found before, much less in another book title. Four words, with at least three or four connotations.

It's a good title.

I might disclose the original after this book gets published, if that happens. May be worth a chuckle or something, especially since one friend described it as "bad-ass", LOL.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The book: Moving ahead...

It was three weeks ago today that Dad passed away.  I'm still in a great state of grief, more than that even, about it.  There's a real shock that comes with seeing someone so close to you suddenly leaving you like that.  But I still believe that there was something of God's hand in how things played out.  If the circumstances had been slightly different in any of a thousand different ways, my family would not have had those sixteen days to be with him.  In the end, if God had to take him after so long a bountiful, fulfilling and loving life, it came about in what I can only call the best of all possible outcomes.

That said, I still grieve.  There is no small measure of confusion about certain matters.  And I would be remiss if I did not mention that there have been a number of times during these past three weeks that clinical depression has hit and coincided with that profound sadness.  I was going to visit a church this past Sunday morning but couldn't muster myself to get out of bed, much less be aroused to shave and shower.  That did eventually come, but by then it was too late to attend a service.

I don't think these things are really avoidable.  They're part of the process, and it can't be rushed through.  I don't think God intended them to be rushed through.  This is pain, and it cannot be averted.  But it will pass, and I know that Dad would want me to move on with my life and take everything good that he gave me with me along the journey.

It hasn't happened yet, not enough that I can really do it, but I'm coming to a place where I can begin work again on the book.  Maybe next week it will happen.  I haven't written anything serious for it since a few days before Halloween, five days before Dad had his stroke.  He had told me to take a break for awhile.  Here it is more than a month and a half later and the only thing I've done in the intervening period is re-write the prologue in a different tense and compose one very brief "interlude" meant for between the chapters.  And I did those mostly to get my mind off of things, for however brief a time I had.

Next week, I'm going to start tackling this again.  I'm pretty sure of it.

Like I said, this is a process and it can't be hurried through for my own sake.  But I do see the signs of healing.  The sessions with my counselor have become weekly, and in them I see markers along the way.  I have been learning some Christmas songs during my dulcimer lessons.  Last week I was asked to help backstage with the local theatre guild's production of It's A Wonderful Life: The Musical.  Tonight is opening night, and it has been a good thing for me to be around such a great bunch of people and working with them to pull off such an amazing production.  It has been a good thing for me to be around people in general, rather than cooped-up with nothing but my dog and the depression.  Okay, Tammy has been a great presence in my life during all this time and she's definitely someone who has shown me an amazing amount of love and understanding but, well... it helps to hear a real human voice too, ya understand...

This isn't going to be much of a Christmas season for me.  I think that's okay.  I was becoming too burned-out on Christmas becoming so over-commercialized anyway.  The previous six weeks have left my entire family exhausted, truth be told.  We are going to have a small get-together on Christmas morning and I will be watching the Doctor Who Christmas special that night and that will be it.  No giving gifts and I ask to not be given any.  All I ask of my friends and family is to hold each other close and thank God for being in each others' lives and be grateful for having things better than any of us could possibly deserve.  I won't be celebrating Christmas, for the most part.  And right now, that's fine.

This is a process.  Like life itself.  It hurts to go through this right now, but I am trusting God that this will be something that in the end will make me a stronger person.  I see it already.  And I believe that eventually I will see that this period of my life will have been not only for my own benefit, but for that of those close to me and for the sake of things like the book.

Speaking of which: my book now has a new title.

The idea for it hit me during the past few days, I think maybe Tuesday morning.  At first I thought it was too... I dunno... small, perhaps?  But the more I thought about it the more I realized that there is not only power in its brevity, but that it encapsulates a tremendous deal about the nature of bipolar disorder.  It also reflects a passage from the Bible that was invoked during Dad's funeral service: something pertaining to the nature of his handiwork.

I think it's the perfect title.  And I think Dad would like it too.

Dad wouldn't want me to linger in grief.  He would want me to move forward.  To "always think positive" as he was fond of saying often.  I still have hopes of marrying and having children, maybe someday I will get to see many a Christmas through their eyes.  If I can finish writing this book, perhaps there will be more.  My bipolar is becoming more manageable, I can see it held at bay by the medications and the counseling more than ever.

Dad got to see that, before he left us.  I like to believe that even if he didn't see it happen, that he knew that I would be okay.  That he got to see me come to the place where God has been leading me toward for all of this time.

And now it's time to honor him by living my life to its fullest as it's never been possible to do before.

Starting with finishing writing my book.

3 comments:

Pete said...

Chris,

After reading this something was laid on my heart to share with you and I think you would be well to consider some things.

You took care of your mother. It seems that you took care of your father. You have done everything that the Bible teaches about what children are to do for their parents. Indeed it seems that you did more than most people. All that time you did it without wanting reward or approval. You gave everything.

You are still young. And the whole world is open to you now. You can go anywhere, do anything. Yes you can be a husband and have children, but it doesn't have to be there where you live now.

Chris, open your heart to places beyond Reidsville. To quote from a movie "you don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything." And you have. You have gone as far as you can with Reidsville.

Don't limit your vision to your old hometown. You mention It's a Wonderful Life. Well you get to leave Bedford Falls in a way that George could not.

Don't restrict yourself to Reidsville any more. Look to God to guide you where he wants you to be. You can go anywhere, you can find opportunities in places you never dreamed of before. Take Tammy with you too. The world is wide open for you.Your mom and dad want you to be happy. You get to have that now and somewhere out there is a woman who will want you to be the happiness in her life. You did everything that anyone has ever asked of you. It's time to think about Chris Knight and what he wants and to have happiness at last.

Please think about that, 'kay?

Wherever you go, please keep up the blog. I visit at least 1 day a week. Be happy but be blogging too! You've a lot of people out there counting on you :)

All the best,
Pete,
Missouri

Emily Y said...

What was the original title? Or would it give away too much? Very excited to follow along with your writing!

Chris Knight said...

Pete: you aren't the only one who has been suggesting as much.

Emily:

"What was the original title? Or would it give away too much?"

Hmmmmm... how do I answer this?

Okay, I'll say this about it for now. The first title was two words, and five syllables. The new title is four words, four syllables.

I really wish now that this had been the title all along. It took me a long time to hit upon the first one, and that's been what I've been going with since June. Six months later and the new one is FAR more appropriate. It also sounds better when you speak it.

Maybe I couldn't have come up with the new title until now. Perhaps I had to go through some things before I could hit upon it. Maybe God needed me to be in a situation where only then did the title present itself.

Anyhoo, I like this one much more than the original. The few people I've shared it with agree that they like it much better too. It's a combination of words that has never been found before, much less in another book title. Four words, with at least three or four connotations.

It's a good title.

I might disclose the original after this book gets published, if that happens. May be worth a chuckle or something, especially since one friend described it as "bad-ass", LOL.