I bet you’re wondering why there’d been no new posts since November 2016. Well, the truth is, I went home for the holidays . . . to my homeland Barbados. You know, The Great “There’s-no-place-like-home-for-the-holidays” Migration.
Okay, that’s not be the complete truth – even though I think it would have been a darn good excuse. But it wasn’t the tedious preparations for the trip that distracted me.
And by the way, do you have any idea of the preparations, the precautions, the prudence, the perspicacity (not to mention the gumption) it takes, for me to travel away from the continental US, over 2500 miles from the safety of trusted doctors; especially while still recovering from yet another close call? Nuff said.
And it wasn’t the excitement of being home that distracted me either. Plain truth is, I just couldn’t find my writing hat, even with the Barbados trip more than two weeks behind me, I was still struggling. Impotent.
I kept waiting for my new post to appear – knowing full well that I first had to write it . . . of course. But the hours passed, days slipped away, weeks transpired and nothing. My new post was just not appearing. I couldn’t figure out what the france (Barbadian equivalent of “what the heck”) was wrong with me.
I wasn’t any sicker than before. Actually according to the numbers, I was improving.
Call it writer’s block? More like writer’s block/reader’s block/thinker’s block/any-activity-that-requires-a-brain block.
So there I was, sitting/lying/standing around, notebook and black-inked, ball-point in hand, hopping from topic to topic, writing about this and about that – about overcoming the inevitable frustrations of recovery, about the excited anticipation of a trip home, about Christmas memories and the challenges of keeping up with holiday traditions – just spewing out thoughts like I am told a writer is supposed to. But when it came to filling out those thoughts and the stringing them together – nothing. Nothing! The same nothing going around and around in my friggin’ head!
Maybe I should just read some other people’s blogs, find some inspiration there. My eyes slid along words on the screen but my mind wandered elsewhere. It wasn’t working.
The television I had hardly paid attention to for more than 4 months, became the mainstay of my activities – even though for the most part, I had no idea what the movie was even about. Again, eyes on the screen but seeing nothing; conversations no more than ‘wah-wah’ adult voices like on Charlie Brown cartoons.
And the 650-piece jigsaw puzzle I had reached off the top shelf on my craft closet? That laid partially sorted on the living room floor for days.
I was feeling washed-out, and hating it.
Eventually I reached for my pink blanket – the one I wrap myself in when life happens – protection from feelings of inadequacy and frustration, anger and grief, pain and discomfort.
Wait a minute. You never head of a pink blanket? Then you may find this weird but a “pink blanket” doesn’t have to be pink. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real blanket. It can be, and usually is, purely metaphorical – empowered by your mind – like Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes.
It’s what the pink blanket represents that makes it special.
A blanket is like a warm hug – providing comfort and protection – keeping you warm when your surroundings are cold and cushioning you from harsh conditions. Maybe M.J. was thinking along those lines when he named his son ‘Blanket’.
Pink is thought of as a healing color. Psychologically the color pink signifies unconditional love and nurturing, inspires warmth and comfort, signals hope, health and inner peace.
Together that makes your pink blanket the perfect accessory for any TLC (tender loving care) occasion.
So, I surrendered myself to bed – my location of choice. There was a time when I felt guilty about resting in bed all day but now I’m trying to see it as a refueling strategy – and shrouded in my pink blanket, I turned on every daylight bulb in the room and RELAXED. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the same as giving up or giving in – please don’t think it is. That’s never an option. Two days was all it took for this post to start appearing.
Now I know for sure that my pink blanket works, just like magic. If I don’t need it, I forget all about it and it disappears, only appearing when I need it again.
“When you need me but don’t want me, then I will stay. When you want me but don’t need me, then I have to go.” Nanny McPhee.
I first heard of the pink blanket from one of my college professors. We were comparing notes about the challenges of living with a debilitating chronic illness and sharing our personal survival strategies.
“Sometimes you just have to be gentle with yourself,” she told me, “and wrap your pink blanket around you.”
I immediately understood what she meant, but at the time thought it was her personal metaphor. A few months ago I found out that the meaning was universal.
Universally, a pink blanket is symbolic of comfort in times of need; healing, blessings and positive transformation.
If you have trouble conjuring up a pink blanket in your mind, you can always buy one but remember that the blanket itself has no supernatural powers. It’s just a prop for mustering the positive energy you need to heal.
Next time you are feeling down-in-the-dumps, try your pink blanket. Let me know if it works as good for you as it does for me.