the urge, that pesky creative one, is really nagging at me. i can feel it, taste it, the weight of it is an extra heavy thing to carry. it’s an itch i can’t seem to scratch. unable to find my writing groove. reading more of what i want to read isn’t catching my ass on fire. the photographs i take look like the same old photographs i’ve always taken. i’ve even been considering setting up a tiny painting studio in my office — even though i can’t paint a lick. can’t tell it to go the eff away. tried that too. ed jokingly suggested taking up scrapbooking because he knows he can’t really help me find the thing that’s going to fill that gaping hole right now. i know that, but i still look to him with big sad eyes and beg for help.
maybe it’s hormones, i like to think. i’m finally making my descent into becoming that unsatisfiable old lady i always knew i’d be. maybe it’s early onset empty nest syndrome, i wonder. the boys are getting bigger, needing me less, heading out into lives of their own, just like i always wanted. good god, i need to get a life that’s all my own, i whine. i am dyyyyyying, i moan. there really must be a better way. surely i’m thinking too much. doing too little. but it does’t feel like that at all. it feels like i can’t … do … anything and so i mentally beat myself to a pulp about it.
but here’s a thought — and it’s a good, tough one that goes against everything i actually feel — maybe i just need to feel this. maybe i don’t suck because i can’t figure it out right now. maybe i’m not a horrible writer because i’m not writing miraculous prose just like that. maybe figuring it out is the thing i need. figuring it out or learning to sit with it, feel it. endure the discomfort because something it happening, changing, percolating, about to be revealed. maybe i don’t have to think of my insatiable urge as suffering (even if it sure as hell feels like suffering). maybe change and new paths are hard to find and perhaps that’s okay.
i am alive and full of creative energy and i want more. there are many worse things than that.
he fell asleep so gently right here next to me tonight. mere seconds ticked past between the deciding to lay down and the slow rise and fall of boy sleep. one hand curls tight into his bare middle, his silhouette a rolling landscape of shoulder, waist, hip, and legs in a tangle. his other hand rests limp at his side like a fallen bird, feathery soft fingers. his thoughts left hanging somewhere between swimming and reading and this living room couch.
i rest my hand on his soft, cool side and let it ride the heavy in-out, in-out. through the windows, the crisp breath of evening makes the curtains float in like ghosts. my own breathing unravels in a long sigh. in-out, in-out, this breath is a gift. the last month of summer is hours away now and soon morning will replace this night or the breath or the breathing, the hushed light of day, never promising us anything.
(written after reeling all day about this local tragedy that took place at our new-favorite camp)
bear with me while i continue my just one paragraph a day challenge (the photo a day is just a cherry on top). and just think, if you can’t stand what i’m writing here, you can always join the challenge yourself and do better. in fact, i daaaaare you.
the other day i wrote: there’s simply so much to say and no way to say it. but now, after a couple days of showing up here and trying to get my writing engine going again, i realize that wasn’t the truth. not even remotely the truth.
here is the truth:
there’s simply so much to say and i’m too afraid to say it.
so there it is. yesterday, a post i started about changes i’ve seen in life turned into a weird review of The Sopranos. yep, i went in to write about life, experience, change and wound up veering off into thinking about all the ways Paulie Gualtieri and Christopher Moltisanti get their hearts broken on that show. don’t worry. i’m not going to go all mob psychoanalytical on you again. i’m onto myself. i know what i’m doing. i can smell the fear. i can taste it.
but the real question is: can i and will i be able to write through the fear? i’ve done it before, and i’m pretty sure our ability to write even when we’re scared doesn’t expire with age. so stay tuned to find out. (or did you already leave to go write something better? um, link please!)
been fretting all day about doing just one. there’s simply so much to say and no way to say it. or is it the opposite? i’m not sure.
i could talk about my day. how it started with goodbye kisses to my boys followed by my thyroid pill, some coffee, and a half a cold bagel with cream cheese left uneaten on the counter and how it’s now slowly coming to an end now, darkening room, bright computer, my cat purring and pressed against my thigh, my mind on her last days before she succumbs to the kidney disease.
what happened in between was a mish mash of things: work, happy and sad news stories, a lengthy backyard chase between two orange dragonflies, exercise, frustration, boredom, being so-so about a striped shirt i used to love, swimming lessons, overcooked steak, undercooked artichokes, and a sleeping husband on the couch.
but back to the swimming lessons. let’s go over that again. in more detail. how the tiniest girl in a pink swimsuit, criss cross in the back, kept sinking so far below the surface. until i thought sure she was drowning. and then she’d pop back up. this is swimming? i thought. (no, this is a nervous breakdown.) is her teacher even worried? i wondered. and up she popped again. tiny breath (not enough breath!) and down under again.
back in this dark room, right here, right now, the cat is gone now. she doesn’t stay long these days. there is now a six-year-old standing before me. glowing, battery-powered eyeballs atop his head. and we are laughing.