It’s the best concert I missed seeing in person. Funny, tender, and fierce with presence. Wow.
I can’t stop erasing this first sentence. My God, am I ever going to get out of this loop?
Few weeks ago I came back to my blog. I missed writing, or rather, I got tired of all the notebooks just sitting on my desk. When one filled, I’d reach for another and another, which was sort of fine, but eventually some part of me started wanting my writing to go further than my desk. Some ephemeral, but essential, and equally fun part of being a writer was missing. So I came back to the blog.
I started by doing some Blogging U exercises. God I’d forgotten home much fun it is to create a post, to be gently pulled. To lose track of hours. To be engaged in that way—I’ll just say it: it’s better than sex. And I’ve has some, you know, great. Um. Whatever.
All fine except I noticed I hadn’t left the house in three days, then four. I was forgetting to eat until late at night, and staying in my bathrobe later and later into the day until it was all day. I was forgetting to, you know, pee. I got scared. Go outside and play, for Christ’s sake. Binge-watch a little Netflix. So I did. And didn’t write for a few days.
And today I couldn’t.
* * *
This is one of the most creatively difficult afternoons I’ve had in a long time (and I’ve had some difficult creative periods over the years. That were years). An hour ago I didn’t think I’d get over this hump. I felt mildly panicked. Thank God I remembered this: “Start writing, not matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Thank you, Louis L’Amour.
What a delicate thing a creative habit can be. The balancing involved. Over-engaged or under-engaged. I don’t think I could handle another not engaged.
There are some hair-pin turns on this path.
I went to Google find out whether there was more than one way to pronounce “garrote.” There is, but I’m sticking with the one that makes you sound like you’re speaking French.
Google thought I said “garret.” The above video was a search result.
*I love Irish songs.
I want a garret.
Seriously, the video’s hilarious. Especially if you’ve put the marriage thing on hold.
*For more of the incredibly gorgeous music and voice of Liam Clancy go here
- Finally pulling the containers of dead food out of the fridge.
- The way my Siamese frequently looks like a door-stop.
- Houses that keep their Christmas lights up year-round.
- Doing Warrior II.
- Talking to other shoppers at the grocery store.
- Not stressing in rush-hour traffic because no one expects me at home.
- Lighting a dozen candles in one room.
- The way every cell immediately remembers an ex-lover’s body.
- The hug my father gave me after I was a complete asshole.
- The way my mother would gladly let you steal the gold that falls out of that brilliant head.
I write because finally it’s become less painful than not writing (it also happens to be a helluva lot of fun). That’s the same reason I’ve been sending loving-kindness towards those I have resentments against: it hurts my body less to send them loving thoughts than it does to feel anger.
Except when I don’t write, and don’t send kindness.
I’m behind in blogging classes I signed up for. I was heading to my blog, but got sidetracked and saw a blurb for the movie about Aaron Schwartz, “The Internet’s Own Boy.” The blurb was so compelling that I watched the movie, cried at the ending, read a book, and went to bed. I was thrown before I even got near the empty page. (The movie was so good it was largely worth not writing, but even so, I registered the scratchy feeling of disappointment in myself).
And the other day I called someone a gossip. Well, I yelled it from an elevator the doors of which were closing. (Hey – I’m not a coward: I do posses the ability to engage in conflict face to face, but at the very last minute I couldn’t keep my mouth shut AND THE DOORS JUST HAPPENED TO BE CLOSING, OK?).
I probably didn’t make her day any better. Good chance I made it worse. And my own, too, as my self-righteousness wore off. I felt like I would have if someone had shouted the same thing to me.
So I ended up putting more pain into the world by not keeping my mouth shut. I don’t know. I should have gone to her in private? She’s a neighbor in my building, and we now have a conflict thing….it’s depressing.
Anyway, I try. I’m getting there, with both writing and being a better person. I’m here now, and I do let most slights real-or-imagined go; I see when I’m writing resistant, and I see when I fuck up dealing with an unpleasant person-whereas-I’m-delightful.
Isn’t noticing at least a tiny part of the point?
Oh boy. I’m back to the blog.
*runs around in circles a few times*
Except my assignment for the blogging class sat untouched in my inbox for two days.
I’m easily distracted. By email, yes, but mostly by other people’s writing. Esquire, mostly. But sometimes, You Won’t Believe What These Child Stars Look Like Now. This must stop. I need a different writing routine.
This morning I turn on my computer, and that’s it. I leave it, and go out to a small courtyard to smoke. There is no grass here, but this is in the most fundamental sense a garden.
A weathered, wrought-iron bench is damp so I squat near a wet fern. Bonsai trees of varying shapes and sizes sit on a high shelf, and a Blue Spruce branch from outside the courtyard pokes through and over the dark fencing.
My father dug up the sod when he landscaped this area, and among the ferns and other greenery, replaced the sod with stones. They are smooth, and about the size of his thumb. The stones are earth colors, of a wide variety. I wonder where they came from last, and where they’ve been: red, like fired clay. Sand. Slate grey, and grey of an overcast sky reflected in moving water. Some the color of moist, dark handfuls of earth rich with worms.
I know these rocks – I frequent the garden department at Home Depot – but the name won’t come until I stop mentally searching, then: River rock. That’s the name for these small, traveled bodies. So I come here to write this down, to have a place that fuels my noticing that being near the rock, homed with such loving intention, is also being near the river.
So, hey. Hi. It’s been a while. I didn’t accomplish what I left to do (write a complete short story), but I did start writing. Some essay-like stuff. The barest beginning of a couple short stories, and the merest understanding of how they work. All of that feels good. And now I feel ready to post actual writing, on the reg, instead of mostly writing about fear of writing. What I’m struggling with, what I’m wondering, is if I should scrap this blog and start a new one.
I feel like a different person, and my blog as it is feels like a younger version of myself. I feel… like more of a grown-up writer, and I want my blog to show that. But. Should not this blog reflect all of who I am, not just my new writing choices and maaaybe slightly improved abilities and choices of what to write? Then again if this blog were a resume, I wouldn’t include that job I had one teenage summer pumping gas, right? So I’m struggling. With being true to myself on the one hand, and having a more polished blog to better reflect the new content I want to present, on the other.
What has your experience with this situation been, and how have you handled it? Please and thanks.
Taking time off for a while. Will probably be back for the Blogging 201 class, late July. All notifications will be off.