There is this weird stillness in the house where you're not really sure how to feel. Is it happiness or sadness or exhaustion or simply an entirely new emotion that has yet to be named that comes at the end of a long journey.
I think I just wrote my final words for the book.
Since all of the chapters were written out of order, and even sections within the chapter were written as a thought struck, I wrote my final thoughts on a section about milestones in the Parenting after Infertility chapter (and...um...hint hint hint to my editor, please leave this sentence in so this post makes sense years down the road):
"It took time to get to a place where I could see the joy in the event through the tears."
I don't think I could have written something more fitting for a last line if I tried. What a long strange journey this book has been. And for me, it has this bizarre significance with so much that came before it. Four years ago this week, I was finishing my last book: the one that I had stopped writing so I could focus on treatments and subsequently lost out on the book deal. And now, once again, on the very same week, I have finished a book that I stopped treatments to write. It is this bizarre world of yin and yang. An inverse of an experience.
The number four is not lost on me either with its importance in gematria (which, by the way, I never believe in until it has significance to me and then I believe it with all my heart--sort of like my horoscope). Four is equated with creation. And what does it all boil down to beyond balancing out our different paths towards creation. We create on small levels every single day even when we dismiss those small creations because we're not achieving the big creations. Sitting with that final line, it made me realize how long it took to apply it to everywhere else in life too: seeing the joy through the tears. Noticing the small creations amongst the large ones. And not dismissing any part of life in order to experience another.
This has been a horrible week for reasons that are not mine to tell. I am always shy about telling someone else's story on this blog--even the twins and Josh--because their story is not my story to tell. But all through this week, when I start crying, Josh keeps reminding me about the joy and I keep dismissing it with only noticing the source for the tears. And I think I needed to write that last line in so many more ways than just as a closure to a final chapter.
This does not mean the book is actually finished. Isn't that confusing? I now enter a month of edits with the editor and turn in the final manuscript in September. And then it has to go through a bunch of other edits and changes and waiting until it comes out on bookshelves next spring. And by that time, I hope to be firmly ensconced in the other book I have felt was missing from shelves and am planning to write after this one (that's another hint--this time to the publisher). So, this is merely a pause inside all of the activity still to come. But that was the last new line on the first draft of the manuscript.
I wanted to mark this stillness in some way because it feels so odd even though I know what happens next. And I want to apologize publicly to my editor for being so wordy.
I am celebrating with water ice this afternoon and in diving into stuff for the Bridges site. And just running with the new energy that builds out of the stillness.