There are days that writing comes easy and days it doesn’t. There are also a lot of days in between where I find something to say once I get myself up the stairs and put my fingers on the keyboard. Every so often comes a day like today where the issue is not whether it’s easy or hard to write as much as it is whether I feel like I have something to say.
When I get to a day like this, the first fear I have to face is the prospect that I’m on the precipice of depression again. I’ve had moments over the past few days — more like a week, I guess — where I can feel the depression lurking around the edges of my life like a stalker in a Lifetime movie. That it can’t find a way to get inside gives me some hope that my new medication is working and for that I’m grateful. This week marks six years since I took my first dive off the deep end, as it were. Sometimes I think the pull of my depression is as much muscle memory as anything else. And then, of course, this particular January has offered its share of crisis and uncertainty, creating the opportunity for a symphony of emotions.
I’m also struggling to write tonight because I don’t feel very good at what I’m trying to do. I’ve been writing about Darfur because I really want to have a conversation about how I (we?) can respond. When I wrote about the war in Iraq a week or so ago, I yelled so loudly through the screen that I hardly gave anyone a chance to respond, so few did. My las two posts about the genocide in Sudan garnered two comments. I realize way more people read this blog than comment, and I also realized how much I hoped to hear from more folks when I felt my disappointment at seeing zero comments on yesterday’s post.
This is starting to sound as though I fishing for comments, which is not my point. Let me make my point clear: I’m writing about the genocide in Darfur because I want to have a conversation about what we can do beyond calling and writing any and everyone in Washington asking them to wake up. I want to talk about what it means to pray for them. I want to talk about what to do with my sense of helplessness and hopelessness as I look at how the world treats Africa. I want to know how to say all of this in a way that is invitational rather than declarative.