A CIDP Poem: She laughs.

Poetry

Dear Friend,

My dad has a rare chronic illness called CIDP.

What is CIDP?


It’s a chronic auto-immune disease: the body’s immune system attacks the nerves which deteriorates the muscles.

There is no cure.


To maintain his muscles, my dad has been receiving a treatment called IVIG, a transfusion of antibodies to suppress his immunity. To have this treatment, he has been going to the hospital once every month for more than a decade. On top of that, he takes medications including steroids to boost his muscles. If you know about Guillain-Barre syndrome, CIDP is the chronic version of it. You can read more about CIDP here.

Actually, my main character from Book B has this disease too. She suffers from not only CIDP, but also depression and grief. Last year, God led me to set the project aside as it was not the right time to work on its third draft. And guess what? That time may be coming soon.

As you may noticed in my Projects page, I’ve used the image of a sea turtle for Book B. A sea turtle actually represents people with CIDP. The disease slows down their limbs which liken one as a sea turtle swimming and pressing on.


So, getting to the purpose of the title of this post. Recently, I saw a writing prompt from this website and crafted this poem, using my main character with CIDP:


She laughs.

She laughs with her lips and pain in her limbs.
She laughs with her throat and pain in her gums.
She laughs with her chest and pain in her face.
She laughs with sorrow and pain in her heart.

She lost health.
She lost passion.
She lost friends.
She lost herself.

Why does she laugh?

She laughs because in her pain, she found healing.
She laughs because in her grief, she found joy.
She laughs because in darkness, she found hope.
She laughs because in her emptiness,
she found Christ overflowing.



Copyright © Clarissa Choo, 2021.



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

Switching the Turnout

Journal

Dear Friend,

The Conductor halted my second draft in mid-June. The place where He stopped in the plot baffled me. Soon, I realised cutting it short amplifies the theme. Thus, by His strength and wisdom, I completed Book B’s rewrite (from what I saw, I might rewrite it again in the future). His timing was perfect because I wasn’t expecting to be undergoing a period of grief the week after.

For July, I wanted to start one of my two new projects: Book C & E. Yes, after praying, I believe the Conductor wants me to write Book C. It was initially meant to be written leisurely not seriously. It helped me to be creative without the boundaries of storytelling rules. Now that He wants me to write it seriously, I have to start again from its beginning. The question is, when? My hand reached for the project. Howbeit, He switched the tracks and I faced left instead of right.

I found myself writing non-fiction nearly every day. The amount was large to me as a fiction writer that I had cravings for fiction. He told me to hold it off ’til the right time.

“And then I’ll start the allegory?” I asked. Like a child, I excitedly shook in my seat.

No. My shoulders fell. Book F. Alas! I currently long to jump straight into the ball pit of allegories. For years (literally, since I was eight), I desired to write allegories, and I’m so close to it, but no.

Perhaps, I wasn’t ready for that yet. Perhaps, He still wants me to improve in crafting themes.


Then recently. . . He gave me a new idea of writing allegorical short stories for families.

“May I write it alongside Book F?”

I wait for His answer.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

Completing what I Began

Journal

Dear Friend,

These past few weeks prior to June 10, I was frustrated at myself for having such a terrible second draft. Although I was still in its final section Part 4, I thought the entire rewrite itself appeared more of a first draft than a second because I found myself still exploring my plot, characters, and themes. When two ideas for new projects came, I had happily licked them up, desiring to leave my rewrite for them. I thought, I’ll draft my new project first and then I’ll return to redo my rewrite from the beginning.

But

He said otherwise. I need to finish my rewrite no matter how bad it is. He never gave up on dying for me, a sinner; and He never gave up on changing me, a person full of flaws.

The Train blew its horn and lurched forward again.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

When He Desires More Mountains

Journal

Dear Friend,

The train halted at the base of a mountain–no, a mountain range. My second draft for Book B is still a first draft. I planned to rewrite it. . . again; howbeit, I understand it is deemed necessary.

The Conductor pressed a new idea pressed in my mind. It is substantially higher than my craft level. Albeit it be impossible, He will help me. Does He truly desire me to write this? To be certain, I wait upon Him.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

My First Rewriting of Book B

Journal

Dear Friend,

Thus, I started rewriting Book B.


“Why didn’t you work on Book A first?” you may ask.

After reading through my first drafts of both books, I knew how and what the story of Book B will shape itself into. This did not occur to Book A. Instead of forcing myself to rewrite Book A, I left it as it is. It lacked theme and its story felt forced. An experienced author advised me that if I were in this situation, the best action to do is to leave it. Days will go by and my mind will change. Perhaps, the Conductor has not yet taught me the aspect(s) I needed for Book A.

I opened a blank word processor in my laptop, typed the title and stared at the white canvas for the next several minutes. I knew the opening scene, yet I had no idea what my first word or sentence would be. My mind was both filled and blank, a paradox, that is.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.