I haven’t been writing as much as normal, but I’ve been thinking a lot.
About why I haven’t been writing as much, I want to, I think I can, but lately I haven’t. My husband suggested laziness, I don’t think so, because I wasn’t watching shows or relaxing (none of which are wrong) I was kind of mentally pacing back and forth rather than chillaxing as I would if I were in need of rest or lazy. But I was thinking there isn’t so much that separates the me a few months ago who was writing a lot and the me now. It was some subtle difference, it wasn’t about having less time, less energy, or not wanting to, there is not much pressure, because there isn’t a deadline (though I would like to be done by new years eve next year). I’ve been trying to find the difference between non-writing me and writing me and it’s still outside of my comprehension, but the best I can say is that it’s a subtle, yet important difference like a tortoiseshell vs a calico cat.
We are not the same! Meow.
Imagine that your child has a new cat that gets hit by a car, you can’t replace a tortoiseshell with a calico without just being transparent that it is not the same cat. It’s so similar in so many ways, but the very small difference is undeniable and unchangeable. So, I stopped judging myself hatefully for not doing what I said I want to, which I really think I do want to, and instead started more curiously, less judgmentally looking at what was going on internally and externally when I was and wasn’t writing well. I didn’t crack the code, but one thing I was thinking was if I allowed myself to be myself, to be quirky, if I had a cafe to write, if I had some simple things, it might be easier, yes I would want to be able to overcome anything and everything, but if I let myself have a few simple things that make writing easier for me, that wouldn’t be so bad. I don’t know exactly what those things are yet, but I’m more open to shifting the logistics around now to find something that works.
What I noticed about myself is I can write articles or non-fiction while I have creative writing writer’s block, at the same time… like having a functional calico cat, but a broken, turbulent tortiseshell cat who just won’t have it… not eating the dry food nor the wet food until things get better.
But I’ve made it through the bottom and I’ll back again, walking towards the top.
This post is basically a big thank to Dwight Hyde for the recent encouragement by the way. This video helped me, so I’ll share it, in case it helps others, or me again (secretly planning to re-read the same encouragement next time if I get stuck again, at least see if works).
You have to be the hero of your own story and you can do that.– Joe Rogan who is also Preying Mantis from Kung Fu Panda 🦗
Today I was able to write 1052 words, for me a good work day, of the scifi story I call “Yokohama Rx,” which is the ships name. Maybe a better title will arise, and I’ll swap it, but it has struck me as a fitting way to identify which story I am referring to in my own mind.
For what it’s worth I believe shining a light on all this is a good thing no matter how hard it is to swallow. I lived years in denial living stagnant on a lily pad in a swamp until it basically got blown up for a lack of a better word. Broken to pieces never to be put back together. I wish it would of happened sooner. Sending peace and keep your courage to question, view, and ACT!– Dwight Hyde
I don’t know if it’s superstition or reality, but I actually felt like I received peace and courage.
In Mud Sweat and Tears, Bear Grylls talks about special forces training, when someone gave him a tiny bit of their water, when he had none, that it revitalized him well beyond the hydration that someone cared enough to give it, when it wasn’t required.
It might sound dramatic, but I’ve had a boy, who is now 1 and a half, and since then it goes through my mind “what does it mean to be a good man?”
I’ve never thought much about it. I don’t know if there is less pressure to be a good woman, I’ve never actually thought about what that actually means, I think most people mean that you don’t cheat and perhaps work hard, but I still have never thought about what it means to me, or if I qualify based on my own metric… but since having a boy the question of how to raise him to be a good man has lingered in the back of my mind.
I think it’s all about small kindnesses, I think the difference between a good man and a typical man is very slim, like the difference between an Olympian and a great athlete is sometimes milliseconds apart.
I think a typical man does what they need to do and stops, nothing wrong there. But to me, a good man, sometimes, not every time, goes that one step further towards sharing someone else’s burden. It could be a friend, family, a stranger, a dog, a whole town, only one stray cat, but somewhere in the ability to find the time to do something very small, or very big, something that didn’t “need” to be done, something no one would have required or expected, the act of acknowledging another individual, perhaps helping, perhaps not, but acknowledging others as worth the time to really look at them, if but for a second, or really listen to them, as a person. In Japanese it’s called “makoto” translated as sincerity, but in English sincerity has become watered down a bit to mean honesty, when it used to mean much more.
There is so little kindness in the cities, in modern life, that most of I can remember comes from over 30 years ago, in another state, I wonder if everyone thinks the world of childhood was kinder, because we are kinder to children? Or was it just kinder? I remember walking down dirt roads and I couldn’t get to the bakery a block away without someone giving peanuts or jelly to me to carry back to my grandmother. I could go anywhere without a kind face or a kind word, they didn’t let me. I wasn’t that outgoing, the world wasn’t returning my friendliness, but just giving me theirs no strings attached.
Now every bill I get says something crazy about how I’m part of their family ext, and they care deeply about my user experience ext, but if I switch phone or cable and they ask me why after wasting about 20 minutes of my time they wouldn’t offer me a lower rate, so suddenly we aren’t family and they don’t care deeply anymore.
I guess no one but me gets bothered by those advertising claims, but it kind of jaded me over time, I kind of forgot that my world was once as friendly as the cold one I live in pretends to be.
It’s easier to forget the world I grew up in than to remember and make sense of it being the same one that I live in now. It changed so much it was exciting, it changed so much it was fun, then it changed so much it was confusing, then it changed so much it was daunting.
“The only constant in life is change.”– Heraclitus
I guess some people have always noticed that change can’t be rinsed off life, that life is woven of fibers of change, but I was so fooled by the smell of my grandmothers cooking and the way the towels smelled and the way they were always folded the same way, always there in the closet magically, I was so fooled by the way my dad always looked the same, with a baseball cap, average looking to me, but youthful and unchanging like an elf, I was so fooled when my grandmother hugged me that I would be loved forever, by her, that she would always be there, so that whatever success I had, someday she would see them (but never judge me by them, because she wasn’t like that, she just loved you already as you were).
I was a fool to think life would always be easy, always safe, always wonderful.
I was a fool and I was fooled, but it gave a few years of happiness that I don’t think I would have preferred to trade to know the future.
If my life were a necklace it would alternate between wonderful, horrible, and mundane. I don’t know if everyone’s life feels as even as mine, but mine feels like there is a one to one ratio of tragedy and triumph, with a lot of mundane spacing in between like babies breath in a bouquet.
I remember a funeral, when I was young, my mother said babies breath had been the ladies favorite flower. I think it was my grandfather’s mother. I call her that, because that’s all she ever was to me, not my great grandmother (because we never knew each other) but rather the mother of my grandfather.
It rocked me to the core a little bit, the simple idea of a woman loving the background flower, that flower that came free with the purchase of a flashier flower, how could anyone love the background more than the star?
I understand now, that the star is nothing without the background. The star is the most replaceable, not the least. The rose for valentines day gets swapped for a sunflower most readily upon another season and the babies breath seems to always find a place.
But it’s also that we are all very different people. I’ve never liked roses. I’m sure some people do. My husband brought me roses on our second date (or so) and I like him, but not the roses (which I was allergic to). Beyond the allergy, I just have never thought roses were more beautiful than other flowers, I didn’t know why they were more popular to poetry or literature.
We as people, we find the variation of dogs and cats and even lizards personalities so fascinating, because it mirrors us, we are so different in some ways, such as taste, ability, preference, even as the core remains the same. I think most of us like flowers, but the flowers vary quite a bit person to person.
They say green is the color of harmony because flowers of any color can look good together with a mostly green background.
Georgia O’Keeffe I read would get mad that she thought people never really looked at flowers, she painted them larger to get people’s attention, to force them to look. I think it was wonderful that she found her own mission, her own metric, her own success, that she wasn’t ashamed to be herself.
I’m still finding my way, little has changed but today I wrote 1052 words, essentially I started walking down the road towards the mountain I was headed to, I think it was due to the kindness of strangers. A kind word was the straw that provided the camel a snack to get back going to wherever camels will go.