Peace Without Words

Someone asked me if I would purposely stress myself out to get into a creative mood, and my response was an unequivocal “Absolutely not!” I’ve had enough stress in my life to ever want to put myself in such a state, but I have to admit, being stressed out, in pain, or even just confused makes it easier to write. If I am in a mellow mood, which is where I try to be — balanced and in harmony with myself and my surroundings — I find it hard to find something to write about.

Writing has generally been a release for me. If I put chaotic feelings into words, they become more orderly and easier to deal with. There is also a lot to say when one is struggling to find one’s way, but once there, there’s not much to talk about.

Writing fiction is also a release of sorts. If a story is in my head and is struggling to get out, then I have to write it to put it and my mind to rest. But if no story wants to be born? Then there’s nothing really to say. (Though I suppose there will come a time when I decide to write another story just for something to do. In that case, I will then try to put a story in my head.)

So here I am, in a pleasant and harmonious state, trying to find something interesting to write about. After 480 days of straight blogging, I’m not about to give up for a lack of words. Nor am I about to grope around in my mind for the stress that once was there or to do something to unbalance myself (though I don’t know what that would be).

I’m lucky, actually, to be in such a state. There have been many years where I needed the words to relieve the stress that it seems ironic to think I would need stress to find the words.

Someday, I’m sure, there will come an upsurge of grief, a problem with other people (though to have problems with people, you have to be around them, and with this isolation, I hardly see anyone except the woman I visit a few times a week.

Meantime, I will enjoy the peace, even if the peace comes without words.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Realtor Time

I’ve spent the whole morning getting my father’s house ready for realtors to look at in preparation for putting the house on the market, and now I’m between realtor appointments.

The first realtor said he liked the house, but he might have been backpeddling. While looking the place over, he kept finding faults — the mantle over the fireplace would be a drawback for the younger crowd, the pillars that defined the greatroom were a mistake, the living room floor should have been tile to match the entryway and kitchen, the house was too plain to get the big bucks.

I found myself bristling at his words, as if he were insulting me, which was sort of strange. This is not a house I chose, and I had nothing to do with the design “flaws” the realtor took exception to — I just sort of landed here by accident. I got a grip on myself, or rather a grin on myself, since my reaction was rather humorous.

When he left, he said I was a nice lady, not high maintenance, and it would be a pleasure to work with me, but really, what else could he say, that he dreaded meeting me again? (And anyway, it’s the truth. I am a nice lady and I’m not high-maintenance.)

The next realtor will show up in a few minutes.

This is just the beginning. Strangers will be traipsing through the house, and I will have to live in unclutter, putting away projects each night to make sure the house is presentable in case of a showing, and eventually, someone will fall in love with the house, and it will be sold. And then . . .

My thoughts of the future always end with ellipses since I haven’t a clue where to go from here, but I’m okay with that. Finishing packing my stuff and dealing with realtors and potential buyers is enough to think about for now.

This is a big step for me, learning not to project myself too far into the future, and so far it’s working. I’m much more at peace with myself and the world than I have been for a long time. Now if I can just stop overthinking everything, I’ll be on my way to . . .

Yep. Those dang ellipses again.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.