Yesterday, I won NaNoWriMo. 50k in 19 days.
Today, I finished the rough draft for Colors to Stars, (which is going to need a real title soon), totally at 73,056 words.
It is bittersweet to finish a project, especially one that has had so much of my heart in it. But it has been a very good journey so far, and especially in these past couple of days of writing I’ve had a lot of great personal insights. Some encouraging, but mostly convicting.
I’ve realized there are things I have been holding on to, thinking that they might help heal so many wounds. I’ve discovered that these things, which I explore in this novel, some times give temporary relief, or satisfcation, but they always demand more. And the price they require is great, one I am not willing to pay.
When I started writing, I was thinking it was so much about forgiveness, as if forgiveness is easily sorted and dealt out. It’s much more complicated, the more I try to pursue it step by step. In finishing this novel and really taking a good look at it, I can see it is so much more about revenge and justice, and the lacking in both of them.
With revenge, in order to get true revenge, you have to inflict the exact same kind of pain on someone that they inflicted upon you, and then some. And eye for an eye. Achieving this obviously requires you to become the object of your revenge, to emulate their behavoir. It’s terrifying to realize, especially knowing that it will never be enough. There will never be enough pain you can inflict on someone that will somehow heal your own wounds.
With justice, the bringing to light dark truths, is equally not a replacement for healing. Perhaps, in some ways, it is more fuel to hold onto resentment. The justification of resentment: “Now they all know. Good.” There is an emptiness that follows. It only makes the wounds that much more real. It doesn’t erase the past. It doesn’t change the past. The hurt remains.
And so, I’ve really discovered that both revenge and justice are not paths to true healing. In their own ways, they only cut the wounds deeper.
It’s just one step on this journey toward healing. I know forgiveness is at the end. I know that’s where complete healing can only be found, and I can be free of the pain of the past. I’m still figuring out how to get there. Still figuring out how to let go.
But at least I can see clearly two options that will not give me the freedom I seek. This is only one chapter in my story, and only a little taste of that freedom. I hope that this story, should it make it to publishing, will be able to give my readers a little bit of freedom too.