Every cloud has a silver lining.
I firmly feel application of this phrase should not be sought after.
In the Writer’s Paradox, I wrote about seeking out experiences to enrich one’s writing. To smell the air, walk the terrain and hear the birds. I urge everyone to seek after the whispers of beach, forest, town and experience all they can.
When you are told there is a silver lining sometimes it’s true, but hardly ever at the time you are experiencing the event. There are just as many things in life to avoid as there are to embrace. While these events, bereavements, losses, illness and many others can add a depth of knowing and suffering to your writing, do not seek it out.
Even the most perfect person(s) you know has demons haunting them, secrets not to be revealed, and tragedies striking. Sometimes the tragedy of one might be only an annoyance to another, but it is wrong to discount their pain. Empathy for those who suffer is better than suffering oneself.
That said, there is no place for anyone to hide. Something will happen out of plan. Sometimes the depth or width of an event is beyond comprehension. Sometimes we will never be able to emphasize since such tragedy is beyond us. But we can listen. We can be there.
When the out-of-the-blue strikes you, cope as best as you can, but as a writer keep those feelings, keep the logistics and the story wrapped around you. Set it in the corner of your mind. Someday you may use it. Someday the silver lining may suddenly appear.
Perhaps my own recent trial would be a trifling to someone else, but for me a long bout of unplanned pneumonia changed me as I wrapped the experience around me. At first there was nothing, but the little pad of paper by my bedside gradually filled up with every silver lining I could find.
When the worst happens, even if you see a silver lining, it is for the person in the center to find it for themselves. Wait. Unless it is you. If you are at the center of cataclysm, big or small, file it away in the writing stock and when the pain has passed embrace the experience and count whatever it has added to your life.
All of life is there for us. Some good. Some bad. And some beyond words.
My hope is that everyone can find a silver lining.
My greatest hope is that you’ll never have to search for one.