Have you ever read a book so good that it transports you to a different place?  Science fiction will do that – historical fiction, too.  Generally, any well-written fiction can sweep me away.  This can be a great escape, a kind of therapy.  Take me away from this place, you lovely collection of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words.

If the book’s setting happens in the midst of a blizzard, I may look out the window and feel such surprise to see that it’s June where I live.  Not a snowflake in sight. The author paints a world so different from the one I am in that I close the book and feel like I’m waking from a dream.

This is happening to me as I write this book: each page transports me to another time.

The scenes unfold across a broad spectrum:
joyful, happy memories;
sunshine in the darkness;
the days when he was alive, here, with us;
the day he died;
the thick fog of depression.

To put myself there is to revisit the trauma.

This writing calls for a kind of immersion; as I finish for the day, I swim to the surface.  It’s dark and cold, down there so deep.  I swim toward the sun, trying not to run out of breath before I resurface.

I may not feel the emotional toll while I’m writing: such is the immersion.  I’m fully there.  I just write it as I see it, recall it, remember it to be.  As I close my laptop, I wake from the dream. And I start to feel, feel, feel.

One day, before I learned this need for detox, I finished writing and headed to the grocery store.  My emotions caught up with me in the produce section.  I left my lemons in the cart. I drove home in a tremored daze.

I must allow myself a wide, gracious emotional margin.

I have to stop writing just before lunchtime so I can be a mom when the boys come home at 4:00.

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