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I hope you all get well as quickly as possible! Love to Becca, losing a member of the family is so hard. As to why we write - I'm 100% sure I write because I need to hear it. Sometimes the voice that comes out in the writing is very helpful to the normal spinning voice in my head.

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Exactly this! Your writing voice is beautifully calm. Reading your words is like meditation for me!

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For me too - and for sure that is not the constant voice in my head! I’m so glad when I can also offer that to others.

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All this is very beautifully said, Katie. Thank you for writing it.

And what you've done here - and in your newsletter generally - is a perfect illustration of the power of finding a way to write straight through the middle of these things, to see what might be at the other end.

As (Everyday Woo) Katie says, that senselessness is horrifying. It's the hardest thing to deal with when something terrible happens, making it feel impossible to understand. (It's what I struggled the most with a few years back, during a rough period of tragedy in my family.) Why them? Why me? In what kind of world can this happen? And then it's a short hop from "everything appears to be either senseless or Evil" to "we have no control over anything that matters" & then "we're all doomed".

But maybe in this case, writing, like actual therapy, is a process of going from that crushing certainty into something more open to reframing in ways we haven't thought of. Writing becoming an act of saying "well, there are lots of ways to think about this, and maybe some of them can give me a little more strength to move forward - even if it's just to help make sure it's less likely to happen again, to me or anyone else."

And as Solnit says, giving ourselves to the future - which is a thing that is never yet known, despite our worst super-certain-feeling fears. Maybe, since we're imaginative animals and we spend a lot of our time in the realm of What Might Happen (usually in the form of worrying), what's to stop us also imagining what might go *right*, and try to act accordingly, so we're ready if it does happen?

All this is really hard stuff to process, at least for me. I don't think I could actually *think* it. My thoughts would get too jumbled, especially after coffee. But writing it out? It certainly helps - although you've done a better job writing this post than I've ever done when I've tried to untangle my own struggles with hope. (My own newsletter's certainly an act of self-therapy, but it's pretty indirect.) And reading the work of my favourite writers too (Solnit's one of them) helps a ton...

Writing can move the needle away from the dread of 'knowing' everything is screwed. That certainly feels like one answer?

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May 10, 2022Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

I agree with you, Mike. It is hard to process. Another piece to this for me is accepting that writing cannot do everything. I cannot, in my limited perspective, write one piece that says it all.

There will always be gaps, or spaces to be filled in with the perspectives of others--more stones to be overturned. Katie's writing and that of others helps me pick up the heavy stones of life and see what's underneath at that precise moment--ugliness and beauty, co-existing together.

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Oh dear. I wrote an essay. I'm one of *those* kinds of commenters. (Sorry.)

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Don’t apologize, Mike! I love what you shared and wholeheartedly agree. There are so many times that my sweet dumb brain insists that we’re doomed and everything is pointless. Somehow, my writing brain is a lot more optimistic and calm. (Thank goodness for that.)

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May 10, 2022Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

I love this, Katie--the last line especially. Something *does* have to come out of all of this. Your writing reminds me of that every week. <3

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Likewise! So glad we found each other.

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This is so beautiful, Katie, thank you. Moving few my first few months after my husband's death last year, writing has been an absolute lifeline, in the form of journaling in the first instance. Even now, looking back at my first thoughts on the screen and page, I am so glad I captured them, in real time. I love your shout out to writers who've inspired and uplifted you too. Thank you for sharing your big, warm heart.

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I am so sorry for your loss, Amanda. A year is no time at all! And I am so glad you captured those real-time thoughts, too. You will continue to be amazed at your own resilience <3

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I'm so sorry, Katie, I've only just seen your kind comment here. I'm just building my frequency and familiarity with this site. You inspire me onwards. Yes, resilience is at its peak when we have no option but to manage... And it does amaze me. We are all so much more resourceful than we mostly imagine, aren't we? Sending every encouragement your way...

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May 11, 2022Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

Thank you so much for finding the energy and time to write this. I’ve felt this a lot lately and have struggled to materially formulate these immaterial feelings … grateful that you shared this so we all feel less alone. Hope you feel better soon!

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Thank you so much, Kaitlin!

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May 11, 2022Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

As I write this, I am sick too. Hope we both feel better soon! I appreciate your words and your honesty about your struggles. My writing is similar in some ways, and writing is so therapeutic for me that I published an article on Medium titled “The Best Thing I’ve Done for my Mental Health is Write Online.” I journal every morning, too.

Even when I write about topics that make me mad, or scared about the future, I feel better. Writing forces my monkey mind to focus on writing instead of my fears, grief, or anger.

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I love that, Wendi!

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deletedMay 10, 2022Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar
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Me too! Thanks, Sharon!

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