The words hurt

Today in The Sandbox Challenge (16), my wise friend Calen asks us:

If you could foresee one accomplishment in your future, what would you like it to be?

If I could only accomplish one thing for the rest of my life, it would be to get my memoir published.


when I began it seemed so easy
even when the words hurt
when the truth I had placed in those air-tight cases –
(lead-lined, so even the sour fragrance could not reach me )
escaped, attacking my face, my scalp, my
poor childish heart
felling me, bending me double –
even then I stretched my fingers again
removed my distant history
(I will harbour no excuses, no self-pity)
and continued with my woeful tale
of failure and threatening doom
until the full story was spilled

I rarely paused to think
until it was all written
I immediately began my first edit
but within minutes I wished I had
digital elbows
to electronically push away the grasping memories
which radiated through my eyes and into my gut

when I lived through those days, those years
each new terror turned a page on the last and
there was no space beside my fear for tomorrow
to meditate on yesterday
but it never went away
it just waited until I was ready to pull it all out
examine it
and although I wished I had never begun
still I continued,
through my second and even my third edit
even to my fourth
but with forty pages to go I am sore all over
and though eager to complete the healing process
I have slowed to a stop
I want to rest

but every day I delay
could take away an opportunity
to make a difference in some small corner of the world
my story could help someone
in some tiny way

©Jane Paterson Basil


17 thoughts on “The words hurt

    1. Maybe I’ve become too used to writing for fun,(and because I have always had a burning need to communicate through the written word – possibly because I was one of five children and none of us could hear each other over the racket!) but that was not what it was meant to be about when I started this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s painful to revisit times in our lives we thought we’d left buried. But it seems as if it’s helped you too and that’s the most important thing. It’s a survivors’ story and will sing to anyone who has been or is going through similar times. Best of luck with your publishing dreams, Jane 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gretiana. It has been an eye-opener, too. The memoir was intended to only tell the story of the addictions of two of my children, but I wrote (and shelved) an outline of my childhood years, and it uncovered a few truths which I had blocked out or refused to see clearly. It has been painful, but probably helpful to me. Now I’m trying to get to know myself all over again.

      Liked by 1 person

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