The One Constant

The universe is a strange, wondrous, and often cruel place. The tactics it uses to keep people on their paths are not necessarily obvious or kind.

There is always something to be lost, whether it be tangible or not. Friendships may end. Finances may become depleted. People we trust may hurt us. People we don’t know may be rude to us. People we admire may never so much as acknowledge our existence. Tragedy may befall us. Life moves on.

Sometimes, during that process, we can become lost. It may seem like life suddenly careened off-course. We are left to wonder when, exactly, the control we thought we had vanished. We look back and ask ourselves where things went wrong. We follow the emotional trail of devastation step-by-step, reliving how things, places, and loved ones were ripped from us. Now, seemingly left with nothing, we ask “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Yes, there are always those worse off – people enduring torture, oppression, and disease. But you’re not them; you’re you.

You think about those who let you down. You think about those you may have let down. You think about every single damned thing until your heart is pounding and your head is throbbing. You feel wounded, betrayed, abandoned, beaten…knocked down to the point you don’t even care about getting up. You tell yourself everything happens for a reason, but what reasons could there possibly be for this?

After a deep breath, you try to look at your life – your path – perhaps you will see one constant for which you can be grateful. Not you, heaven knows – because you change. It may not be easy to recognize with your troubles storming about. When you’re able to strip away the sorrow, the pity, the regret, and the heartache, the world becomes quiet. A beam of clarity will shine on you.

Let the funk dissipate. Focus on the feathery-tipped strands of grass moving in the wind, and you’ll come to realize they’re not swaying but wobbling. Take in the Ponderosa Pines: standing tall, quiet, and old like sentinels. They make you feel safe. Broaden your view to behold the entire meadow. Each flower, leaf, and tuft of grass is alive with movement of a varied rhythm. They vibrate as if involved in animated conversations.

A calm will wash over you. The isolated feeling will melt away as you realize you’re not alone. You never were. The writing was always with you.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

34 thoughts on “The One Constant”

  1. That’s a powerful post, and I think it speaks to a great truth about writers. We are never really alone because everything – every situation, feeling, and need is sustenance for our writing. What we experience and the way we feel about it is processed and polished and cast in whole or in parts upon characters and worlds we build. That is what renders them real.

  2. I feel so emotional right now…you have placed a cool, soft hand against my fevered brow. Lovely and touching. The gentlest kick up the ass I have ever experienced. *_*

  3. I think about paths, the through-line of each story or life. We are living the through-line of our story; it is the path we walk.

    When I get depressed or confused, I tell myself something from my Lakota nDn culture: before conception, I was selected for this path so that I would be born on just the right day to experience this life. I am perfectly and uniquely qualified to be me, and to live this life. The mistakes and failures are as much a part of it as the wise choices and successes that have gone into my life story.

    It is what it is. I accept it. Within the acceptance is a peace, like the one you described.

    Blessings on your path,

      1. But your version was beautiful, and had more breadth of inclusion than mine. We are all needed to build up the experiences for each other.

        BTW, I really glad we’re friends!

  4. Extremely well said. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts in writing. If we let those words in we will benefit from them.

    As you said, things happen for a reason. The timing of your post is one of those things, and ties in directly with an awesome seminar I attended over the weekend. The next day I called a son I haven’t spoken to in 25 years.
    I also called a high school teacher from many years ago that set a great example and taught me some great values. He thinks I made his day…he has no idea what that call meant to me.

    We all have some unknown days left and hopefully our writing will live on long after we are gone. Take a deep breath and enjoy today. Thanks Kat!

  5. What a beautiful post Kat. To be still is very difficult, but it is also rewarding. After we ask “Why?” we will surely be given the answer. A few days ago something happened that caused me great concern. Out of that, a friend I cherished and lost a connection with for over 30 years suddenly sent me an email. It was such a blessing. He reminded me of things that I did for the good, things I didn’t even remember. I’m not sure we will ever have a true understanding of the “things” we must endure, but I hope it adds to our work and lives on in time.

    Thank you.

  6. How could you have reviewed my book and proffered solace before you knew I existed, nor I you? How did you predict the heart-breaking outcome of the tale when I have yet to finish the trilogy? Bewildered, amazed and in awe. The cosmos has just thrilled me. Gosh. Thank you!

  7. That last line packs a powerful punch, Kat, thanks. I know for all the reward I see in my young family that I’ve been blessed with, I’d wither and die if I couldn’t write. Thank you so much for this amazing post.

  8. Kat! This is so beautiful and haunting. The end is still sifting around in my mind and making me mist up a little. Sigh…thank you.

  9. Wow, extremely nice, heartfelt post. We’ve all been there, and hopefully we’ve all realized that we carry this core of truth and redemption inside of us.
    I learned something from a friend once. I told her that most of the time, I knew I was on my right path, I could feel it, but sometimes I seemed to get off the path and I didn’t know how or why. She listened calmly, thought a moment, then said, “Maybe when you feel like you’re off the path, that IS the path.” Wow.

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