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On Writing, Faith, and Tragedy

As you may or may not know, I started to attend a writer's group here in Buffalo, New York. Part of my reason for going was to acquaint myself with fellow artists in the area, part of my reason was to learn better writing skills as I take Libertaria and transform the screenplay into a fully fleshed out novel. 

I enjoy sitting with other creative individuals, all of us diverse in our talents, writing, and beliefs. We discuss so many intriguing topics. Last night was no different. We enjoyed a touching story about the love between an old woman an her maimed dog. It may sound like a trite story, but the words written by the young writer enveloped us in its beautiful imagery, the loneliness of the woman hung in the air and we each held on to each word, mentally cheering for the three-legged beast and its equally crippled master.

Our discussions always teeter on the brink between the mundane and the sublime, the philosophical and the carnal, the emotional and the syntax.

A young man shared a poignant, if somewhat crass, poem about his personal journey with atheism, each stanza dripping with the palpable tenets of anger, hate, and self-worship, always an interesting thread in atheist literature, like someone with a perpetual anger towards a Santa Claus that they no longer believed in, or a distinct hatred for the Easter bunny. I wanted to ask the young man how he could be so angry at something he thought as real as a unicorn, why he had to spout angry words against any and all faiths with every other non-poetic breath. I thought the poem striking and appreciated its symbolism, though elements betrayed that he had thought much of his clever words and didn't look deep enough, missed further symbolism within the symbolism, that he felt abandoned although his character was clearly not alone. We had less heavy fair, discussions on the beauty of exotic beaches and even a chat about Kickstarter.

The young man's poem hit me poignantly as I compared his faithless anger with the faithful hope of the Hand family as young Grayson battles leukemia.


For those that missed my earlier post, three-year-old Grayson Hand was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia last month. His family, my husband's second family growing up in a fatherless household, maintain such a deep faith throughout this crises that would leave most of us shaking our fist at God. There is a beauty in tragedy, as if the pain strips us naked and exposes who we truly are, lonely children in need of an eternal Father. Some of us grip our Father's legs, realizing that we cannot do it alone, others simply lick their wounds, refusing help, instead angry at being left alone when all they need to do is reach up with their arms. 

The Pray for Gray facebook page now has an option to raise donate funds to help the family's mounting medical costs. If you would like to help this family, please take the time to click on the GIVE button. Friends and family hope to raise $25000 with the page. Gray's mother will have to quit her job to care for Grayson, who will be in intense chemo for the next eight months. Medical costs will hit about $1 million per year, for the next three years. 

Thank you again for taking the time to read this post. And please take the time to hug your loved ones today. Life is so fleeting, time so short.

Thank you,
Sabrina Pena Young

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