Illness & Inspiration

Today I want to write about illness and inspiration. In my case illness has never been much of an inspiration. It has been an impenetrable obstacle and it frequently visits me in one shape or another.

I was ill much of last year with pregnancy related complications. I felt better on April 4th. That is the day when one of my beloved movie critics and writers, Roger Ebert, died. I had been following his work, his movie reviews and later on his blog. His death affected me beyond feelings of sorrow. I was inspired and amazed by his story. The way he, in the face of terminal and debilitating cancer, disability and disfigurement transformed himself artistically from good to excellent. How losing his spoken words, fueled his determination and made his written word so much more powerful.

I kept wanting to write something about him when it happened. But I didn’t. I felt blocked and the few attempts I made felt trivial and subpar. So I didn’t produce anything.

One year has past and I gave birth to my son. My illness resolved. I did not write anything while I was sick and I still am not writing much despite being well. I think I do not have what Roger Ebert had neither in health nor illness.

This year as April 4th approached, I was reminded of my complicated pregnancy, my illness and despair and Roger Ebert’s death. That on the day he died, I started to feel better. I do not intend to correlate these to events but merely observe them. I tried to jot down my thoughts on several occasions during the past few weeks without much success. All my attempts were promptly deleted!

Later this April, I learned of the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is one of my most favorite writer of all times and his book One Hundred Years of Solitude is the most powerful and mind captivating piece of literature I have ever read.

He died in old age but he too battled cancer and illness for much of his later life. I couldn’t say if his ill health inspired him as I believe Roger Ebert’s had, but it did not stop his creative mind. I am not like that.

Illness like many other perceived or real obstacles block my progress. My creativity is much like a finicky flower that only blooms once a year if and only if certain optimal conditions are met and lasts a very short while before it withers away.

Today is the last day of April and despite my fingers itching badly to hit the delete button of my keyboard, I will resist the temptation and keep this post.
Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from this process. At the very least I am honoring the memory of two great men, both of them powerful writers.

Thanks for reading.


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