Wednesday, May 20, 2009

when a writer can't write

This comment:

It's like when a writer can't write anymore after they lose someone
from a blogging friend who is really much sweeter than her blogger name would imply (snothead) got me thinking. Often times it feels like when the world is screaming around me I have no power to put even two coherent thoughts together, much less an understandable couple of paragraphs. Or an article - no. A couple or so years ago I did some freelance writing for the second largest paper in the state. It was the most fun job I've ever had. And then ... then we got the bad news about my mom. Terminal. And I could no longer write. It all seemed so meaningless. What was the point? I would look around and wonder ... I'd wonder why do people build buildings? What do they do, going to work? What is the point? It seems as though we are all playing this giant game with some made-up rules. But WHY?

And so suddenly I couldn't write. I could not write about the preschool music class or the performing dance group that had been dancing since I was a child. I no longer had the energy or brain capacity to think through an article. I no longer cared. 

My mom is still sick. But my mom is also still alive! We never imagined we'd still have her in 2009. You just never know with life. Things I've never though possible have happened and when the stress rises, I feel my ability to articulate evaporate like the morning dew when the sun rises up over the mountains. And I usually tuck my head under my wing or bury it in the ground, hoping for whatever-it-is to disappear but in so doing I think I'm waiting for my life to disappear. There will always be something. And sometimes I have to choose what I don't want because it is truly the best choice for the most people. My life isn't mine. That is a very odd concept. Not necessarily unsettling. Just odd. It belongs more to my children than to me. 

So there you go. I'm not sure what that all means - just that sometimes it gets difficult to write. And sometimes a simple comment can unleash a whole bunch of thoughts. I took a psychology class once where we were taught that memory is like the card catalog filing system the libraries used to have (remember those?). The first animal learned most often by babies is "Gog" (dog). Then every animal becomes a "gog" until the child gradually learns another animal, probably a kitty. The 'animal' drawer of their brain's card catalog starts with the 'dog' card which is followed by 'kitty' and others still. All connected. And we just went a little ways down one of mine.


Nancy said...

Great post. My ability to write is fickle: I haven't discovered what makes it click on and off, but you have expressed yours well.

Snot Head said...

I didn't know that you had been a freelance writer. That's fantastic! I wish I could do that. I mean, I guess I could give it a shot, but I haven't yet. Anyway, in a way, I am glad that comment brought so much thought forward for you. After my mom died, I wondered the same things. Why do anything? What does it matter? I even got to a point where I thought, No one cares if I get out of bed or not.

You are very right, though. I think I was waiting for my life to disappear as well because in all honesty, I wanted it to disappear. I hoped so many nights that it could all just be over and I could hide in a corner and fade away into the darkness somewhere. I didn't want anyone to miss me or even notice I was gone because I didn't want it to hurt anyone. I just wanted to give up.

Again, I am glad you are back on here sharing your thoughts. I love to read them, and I can often relate to them. I look forward to seeing your words on my computer screen.

Momma B said...

You know, I have hardly written a thing UNTIL my mom died. I would throw together little pieces here and there and write papers for class, but I have actually WRITTEN so much more since she died. I guess it unlocked the OK for me to write? Not really sure???

I love that you did freelance! I love that your spirit is still in there! You just have to decide that it is ok to come out and play! When the time is WRITE, you will write again! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

You are certainly right about the kiddies! I love that not only is every animal a dog, but better yet every dog is Sadie or Stafa to Meeeeema! It is so funny that she is yelling "top Tadie!" at someone's tiny dog, when in reality, "Tadie" is a lab!

Momma B said...

My life belongs more to my kids than me, only in a different respect. Sometimes it drives me crazy!

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