I can’t imagine writing a book. I read authors’ blogs, both published and not. I see the frustrations and the rewards. I look at myself and I think, “Whoa, that is so not me.” There are days when I don’t have the patience to finish a single blog post. I’ve been tinkering with a post for a few weeks now and I’m not sure I’ll ever finish. It’s only a few scattered lines looking back at me from an unassuming text editor, but it fills me with dread. It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t want to finish this one.

There’s more to it than patience. The topic inspired me and still does, but it feels stalled. No, it’s worse. It feels like it’s missing an essential element – perhaps a little soul, something to bring it to life. There’s something in my head, in my heart, waiting there to be expressed, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how. It’s nothing new, having a post stall out on me, but I was sure this one had the necessary spark. There’s passion in me but it’s locked up tight. It’s fitting it’s a post about intellectual struggle, about choosing the right path.

Boiled down to its essence, it’s a post about Adam, his autistic friend, and a falling out. It’s about seeing a family and the neighborhood failing this child, the responsibility I feel to keep open a safe haven, and the sometimes conflicting need to act in my own child’s best interest.

One side won out for a while and I felt terribly selfish. I felt like I’d become part of the problem for this boy who faces what I believe are terrible odds.

As a parent of a child with special needs myself, I felt double the guilt. He was back over today though and they picked up right where they left off. Kids can be resilient that way. Friendship makes it that much easier.

The episode and the weeks that followed still have me tweaked, and not in a good way. We pat ourselves on the back when we respond with charity and grace to regional and national crises. “The American spirit is alive and well,” we delude ourselves. But the myriad of small crises happening every day go ignored, or worse. We blame the victim, our minds desperately trying to shift any and all responsibility from ourselves.

Maybe that’s what I was trying to say all along. Maybe I just needed to blow up the old post and start over.

Give the gift of words.