Sunday, November 08, 2009

hole in the holidays


It is hard to begin writing first thing in the morning. I’m not sure how writers do it. I heard Steven King would sit and write five pages every morning, that Emily Dickenson would take two hours every afternoon, and that the Great Russian writers would complete ten or more pages a day. I have to admire this.

But I wonder if this made them any better of writers, or if this just instilled in them a practice and discipline that prepared them to complete the novels they’d write, and we would read, to this very day. I do know that when I write regularly, every day or every night or even just when I find the time during the afternoon, that the words come easier when I actually do have to sit down and start or complete a piece of work that’s not just a meandering of thoughts and phrases.

Either way as I sit here this morning, with the heaviness of sleep still weighing on my bones and muscles, with my mind a swirl of half formed thoughts and my heart a blend of stillborn sensations, the only words I can think of typing are the words that ask, just why am I even typing right now?

Is this considered exercise? Is this considered practice? Is this the equivalent of waking up and running a five k every morning, in preparation to run a marathon someday? Is this the same as doing drills all week so that I may be ready for the big game on Sunday? I suppose I will never know, and the biggest benefit ill get from writing as much and as often as I can is that I will eventually acquire a body of pages that go nowhere and say nothing but have the words I’ve written and with that I will have the proof I tried.

Because truthfully, even though I have all the stories inside me, even though I have the experience and the desire for experience, that drives me and keep me breathing, the burden of documenting that which is in my heart and head sometimes paralyses my imagination and creativity, so instead I drink and sit and stare and then I sleep and wake up with the bitter dissatisfaction of an unaccomplished existence. I suppose that too, keeps me going. Because contentment means it’s all over.

We have the holidays coming up and once again I have no plans. My ex-girlfriend was supposed to come and stay with me for a week but I began to feel stressed and burdened by her visit, unsure if we were on the same page of the relationship, so I called and spoke to her and even though the conversation was painful (sometimes the truth hurts) it opened us up to a reality we were too naïve to face. Now she will only stay a few days and will be gone before thanksgiving. And once again I have no plans for the holidays.

I’m not whining or sad about it, but it does leave a void in my calendar on that particular day of celebration. I guess there are plenty of people that have no where to go during the holidays, and I suppose I will be invited to a few different dinners where I will only know a few of the people and pick at my plate and remain largely quiet the entire night. On the other hand, I could get a few drinks in me and become a source of jovial distraction, a meaningless clown full of nerves and old jokes. Commanding attention, sucking at the eyes of all those around me. But that doesn’t sound fun. It sounds sad and lonely, to tell the truth.

We’ll see. We’ll see. This aint nothing but a young adult life. And like everything else, it will pass.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.