Resistance

Life – I think,
can be best equated to an interpretive dance
that each of us does to the unique beat
of our individual lives.
And isn’t it beautiful when the melodies align,
and we all begin to move in synchrony?

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Good Night, Moon.

I can’t.
My head hurts, and even though I want to be able to write something beautiful, all I can think about is how I’m tired, and how much work I have still to do this week, and how the insides of my eyes burn.

I hate it.
I feel like there was a time when I would sit down and words would just fall out of me and arrange themselves perfectly. These days, I spend my time sticking them together like magnetic poetry and hoping I have enough words for it to make sense.

I’m making myself write.
It’s hard for me to write when I feel like it’s not interesting to consume. What’s fun about knowing what I ate for lunch? What do you care if the skin on my feet is dry, or if I found a new hand cream I’ve been using as body butter? I’m not a teenage girl, and this is not a diary.

I have a diary.
And I don’t write in that either, which is a bit ironic since I’m definitely the only one reading that. I guess if I did more than work in a day, I might write stuff down in it. It’s become sort of a weird archive of lists of baby names I’ll never use, and occasional emotional breakdowns that are far too messy for the public sphere.

How do I end this?
Conclusions have always been awkward for me. Do I restate and rephrase everything I’ve previously written? Does it matter if what I’ve written comes wrapped neatly in a bow? What if I’m just done talking half way through a thought? I think that happens to all of us, but we force ourselves to push through to the end of it because, well, it’s what people expect. But when it comes to writing, the only expectations I ought to care about are my own…

I think.

Forced Entry.

Something I tell everyone who comes to me with an idea for a story is, well – basically to echo Anne Lamott, you have to write a shitty first draft. Don’t self edit. Let it be sloppy and painful and don’t you dare delete that last sentence.

This is something I say with ease, but very rarely do. I never finish anything I start because I want it to be perfect at the end.

I don’t know why. I’ve never been a perfectionist. I’ve hammered out some pretty shitty first draft 20 page essays that I never edited and turned in just like that, in their bloody, raw, extremely exhausted form.

But when it comes to the things that I care about, I want them tidy, finished, topped with a cherry. It’s more for your benefit than mine, but everything I write becomes painstaking and difficult.

Even this entry, which I am forcing myself to write without changing it simply for the art of practice. So, prepare yourself for a year in which – hopefully – I sit and bleed my words for you. Those things are always so much more fun to read, anyway…

Don’t Ask Where it Came From

A man sat at a tea-table, under the trellis in his yard. Little flowers rested delicately around him, and he took advantage of their close proximity by leaning ever-so-slightly backwards to smell them. In his hand, he held a copy of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. He tossed it onto the table and stared at it hopelessly. He had his notes open in front of him, but he wondered if trying to teach this play to high school sophomores was more than he had bargained for. His students had enjoyed their time with Romeo and Juliet, but the plot was so universally known and the movie renditions aligned so closely that he was sure that less than half the class actually read the play.
That’s okay, he thought to himself. Shakespeare’s works were meant to be seen and heard – not read. This didn’t fully convince him – although it did make him feel slightly better. Teaching symbolism and poetic devices to 15 year olds was akin to torture, even if they were honors students taking his Shakespeare class as an elective.
Finishing his last sip of tea, Cooper – or Mr. Marlow as the students called him – decided he ought to take a break from his work for a moment. His hard work over a school holiday certainly merited him some leisure time! He pushed his chair back, and stared for a moment at his worn, brown penny-loafers. He reached down a flicked away a fleck of dried blood from the top of them.
“Hmm. Don’t know how I missed that” he said to himself aloud. He rubbed his broad, bearded chin and looked toward his home office. A break, he thought to himself. You’re taking a break. Don’t go in there, or you’ll come out feeling murderous. At this thought, he had a bit of a chuckle and said to himself, “What else is new?” But, he had promised himself a break from work – and a break he would have.

“Come on, Achilles!” Cooper called out. It took less than 30 seconds before a big, brindled Great Dane came lopping towards him. Achilles let his tongue hang out, and looked at Cooper excited for a walk around the nearby lake.

Cooper took great enjoyment in saying, “Achilles, heel!” at the curb, checking the road for cars before crossing.

Yikes.

Have I really been neglecting my poor blog since October? I guess it’s not that surprising. I always have lots of ideas in my head, but never seem capable of sitting down and just letting them bleed out of me.

It’s not that it’s hard. It just makes me anxious. I start to write, I hate what I’m writing, I delete it, and I give whatever medium I’m using the cold shoulder.

Just now I wrote, deleted, and rewrote a meaningless sentence about how it isn’t the medium’s fault I can’t commit. See?

This year, I’d like to be more consistent. More creative. More willing to sit in a pile of words without them needing to be perfect the first time they fall out.

We’ll see.