Friday, June 11, 2010

A Non-Writer's Life

I feel a blog coming on. Maybe a few of them. I am embarrassed by my lack of writing but honestly, opening a second bookstore this year pretty much knocked the wind out of me. When I clean, well, anything these days--my desk, my closet, my car--the detritus I sift through carbon dates to early 2009 when it all kind of stopped while I adjusted to working twice as hard and being twice as exhausted. But I have always been someone who processed through writing, either through my journal (may she rest in pieces) or through essays/columns/diatribes. Often I don't really know what I think until I have written it out. So this last year has been really a mess intellectually and emotionally. Since I haven't been writing, I have only a sketchy idea of what I really think.
The satellite surveillance in our home's gas meter, had it been working properly (they just replaced it last week and that's how I found out it was in our basement) would have sent back to control central reports of me becoming deeply engaged in really embarrassing television programs this past year. Really embarrassing. Ok, not "Pimp My Ride" embarrassing, but definitely "Operation Repo" embarrassing. Basically, I have just been coming home and collapsing for a year or so, keeping my brain on life support by massaging it with video stimulation.
I can't promise that I will cease and desist the embarrassing television sessions, but I do know that I must pull it together intellectually or the two or three people who still respect me will stop talking to me.
I have delusions of great outbursts of verbiage. Thing is, when you are a writer, and I believe I am, just like alcholics, writing or not, you are still a writer in your skin. But unlike alcoholics, who must not drink if they want to survive, writers must write to survive. Writer's block, a much over-abused term, is nevertheless a real experience and it has many expressions. One expression is creating so many other work obligations that you delude yourself into thinking you have an excused abscence from writing. Not so, my imaginary friends! Yet while it could be said that there are no excused absences from doing the thing that you are called to do, it could also be said that the whole concept of obligation and avoidance is the wrong paradigm altogether and essentially mean-spirited.
In the interest of not being mean to myself, I will dip a finger back into the ink and start with the blog. I knew I was ready to make a fool of myself in virtual print again when I found myself scrubbing the copper bottoms of my cooking pots last Saturday. I mean I was really working at it with Bon Ami and a mildly abrasive scrubbie thingie. I did three pots before I forced myself to stop. Manic unnecessary cleaning is always a sign that I am resurfacing and about to walk into that big scarey place of the blank white screen and the patient, yet slightly smirking, cursor. I didn't set down a word that day but it didn't matter. I knew from the chafed red skin on my hands that it was but a matter of time.