I like the notion of being on a fork in the road. I do not use this expression because i once read a book titled the same and it described that fork perfectly. That decision you make leading to a path that still provides movement forward. I don't have forks. (i think i'd like to have a fork??) *sigh* I have tangents. I have these paths, that on occassion, lead me from the circuitous ball of madness in which i live until my growing concern for the undone or the unraveled, leads me back to whatever is in my constant circle.
I told people I was a writer yestereday. And, I almost beleived it. They certainly did. This morning, I wanted to announce, I will be writing today! (I know, stop saying it and do it!) But in making coffee and opening the blinds and choosing music by which my fingers will move over the keys, I thought about the impotance of having the tangents yesterday. I thought how these innocuous tasks of my day really prepared my head to be in the state of creation today. I am grateful that my legs (and my middle if i can be so literal) allowed me movement within my circle to spin until i found the doorways to the tangent. And I am grateful for the tangent. I am appreciative of all the tangents I encounter.
I woke with personal hygenic needs (toilet paper, tampons, paper towels, trash bags, etc.) and wrapped up in a thick flyers hoodie (that i wear so often there are stains on the cuffs i cannot wash out) to trek out in the chill of the morning air to take a bus that was a little late to the Target. Benign? Well, I thought I would walk toward the Dunkin' and if the bus had not arrived by the time I reached that mid-way point, I would get a coffee. I thought further that I was meeting a friend for brunch and maybe should not push the exertion thing. Settle for the bus and get a coffee at the Target. If I was keeping track of gratitudes again, I would say having a bus at my corner, a dunkin' midway to the grocery stores and a starbucks in my neighborhood Target defintely makes the list. Still benign - maybe? I stood amongst two families I've encountered several times in the neighborhood, also waiting for the bus. One consisted of an older woman and a young girl and boy. Grandmother to the two? Mother? I don't know the relationship. What I do know is the girl stands quiet while the boy stands worried that the bus is late before it's even scheduled to arrive and while the woman complains about the weather. She complained in the summer time when the sun was bright, in the gloom of the rain, and definitely yesterday when she was bundled up in knits of varying weights and colors providing insight into the chaos and spin in which she lives. The second family lives on my street. Mother, father, two girls comprise the crew. They were on their way to WalMart I assumed, as I had eencountered them many weekend mornings. The dad is loud. The mom is embarrassed about his volumious exchanges with his daughters. The daughters play. As they stand for the bus, they swing on the railing to the [Papi] store. They play a game of 'what if' while the dad tells them to be quiet while he makes a lot of noise telling the mom how he wants new pajama pants and she explains that no one needs to know of his needs outside their home. These are people. These are characters if one sees them in that particular light. These are the quirks that make up the benign and yet the quirks that make IT complete.
Waiting for coffee, waiting in line, listening to two people discuss the value versus comfort of toilet tissue - all these moments become stories in my brain.
So, I missed brunch and couldn't find my writing group. But after eavesdropping on a group of out-of-towners who were relying on others to explain the words I thought were abundantly clear, i stumbled upon a couple of guys who were just delightful. A Star Wars fan (of the same particular age as I - providing a memory of the originals on the big screen as well as excitment for the upcoming volume in the domed imax theatre) and his partner who was not so much of that age and seemed embarrassed that he was old enough only to be exposed to the rise and fall of Darth Vader on DVD. I realized while I spoke to these two that all the little quirks I notice explain more than what people think of themselves - what people tell others about themselves - how they cringe when their partner exposes them to a complete stranger. I laugh and take mental note - I literally think, I have to remember this - it is important! and then it is forgotten, because I am engaged, not recording for a later disgorge. I left them feeling i had done nothing with my day - certainly not produced any words of value as I have beaten myself up for not doing on the days I'm well enough to sit up straight and have the laptop open. And so i did the thing i do when i'm feeling a little broken inside from getting beaten up - i retreated into the darkness to watch someone else's story instead of being a part of my own. I saw a perfectly terrible film. It could be the worst one to date I've seen on the big screen and quite frankly it was exquisite. It was writen and lighted and directed and acted in such a way that complimented every other aspect of the film. This is not the stuff of an Oscar winner. This is not the stuff of memory. It was a quirk finding life.
I'm home this morning and i have my laptop open. I made a giant cup of strong coffee and chose a stack of cds to listen to while my fingers methodically hit the keys to push characters into words and ideas (if not ideals). I have a monster dog whose belly aches from eating things that she should not have eaten when she was alone yesterday and i have intention to write. I hope today is not a day where the words assemble into sentences and not just fall in disharmony.
Yesterday i told people i was a writer when they asked who i was. It was the writer who looked upon them. It was the writer who categorized their personalities and predicted their next move. It was the writer who left them taking note of their importance.
I wrote a play in a weekend - full ninety four page play with stage direction, set design and background notes about characters. There was a time when I wrote ten-thousand word short stories in a weekend. At this point in my life, i write close to five hundred words and feel spent. i feel i have nothing interesting left - even when i am inspired. It's this weird writer's block/chaos of creativity that weighs on me. I feel like a fraud when i say that I am a writer. I feel like someone is going to determine that i've been on a break so long from words I should be saying, I used to be - and then in the realization that I haven't produced anything of true value to anyone but me, i think i maybe should use the words, i want to be -
Today I am a writer. I will write without goal but with purposee. I will be mindful of the ending as I sift through the moments making up the middle. Yesterday I researched and tomorrow I'll be in the tangents again, but today, I am a writer.