The words do not want to come.

Another month. Another Monday.

More questions.

Less certainty.

For some time now it’s felt as if everything is about to fall apart. I’ve been standing on the edge for so long, somehow managing to balance. There are all these saying about how things falling apart might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, but I am extremely doubtful. I think I’d be too tired to build anything out of the rubble.

I know I cling too hard to things sometimes. It’s a side effect of loss.

If I look like I’m not affected by things, it’s because I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t begin to express it.

If this little piece of writing is a little lacking, it’s because I have so many thoughts running around in my head that catching one long enough to get it to stand still is nearly impossible.

I would like to tell you all my secrets, but then I’d have to let them go. And it’s hard to do that when I’m not sure I understand most of them myself.

…but really.

Do me a favor. Look through the last five or so posts before this one. That spans, what, two or three months? And how many times in those posts did I say that I was planning to post more often and try to get a writing schedule happening?

Not that it was a promise or anything like that, but I have not been true to my word.

I can’t honestly say I know why. It’s one of those spiraling lacks of productivity wherein you’ve climbed down into a hole of Netflix and have to force yourself to get any real work done. There are many reasons why I haven’t been writing very much, and yet there is no reason at all. The truth is, the last time I was regularly writing was probably ten or so years ago. To explain why I’ve neglected the one thing I would say I NEED to do with my life, I would have to take you on a long and winding journey and I can’t guarantee we would get to the end. Perhaps, later, I will try to give the full explanation. For now, I’ll simplify:

Life.

I suppose I was not actually prepared to handle how hard life actually is. And, maybe, how hard writing actually is. Continue reading

Working Through: Foreword

I must have been wandering obliviously for a while to get here, not realizing how far beyond any signposts or streetlights I’d traveled until it was too late. Now, I feel completely stuck and hopelessly adrift at the same time. I’m treading deep water in the dead of night, went up in a hot air balloon alone and the mechanism to get back down is broken. All the things I want in life are crowding for prominence in my mind, but not giving any clues as to how to reach them. And they’re all angry that I haven’t figured it out by now. Meanwhile I’m paralyzed with uncertainty. I don’t know what to try to do first, and there are no indications of what steps to take even when I do pick something. My best solution is to go back in time and take advantage of opportunities I let slip by me (like studying music on a more serious level in college), but that is not a possibility in any of the alternate universes of my life, since all of them are subject to laws of physics.

Are you feeling confused at all, wondering what I’m talking about? I’m with you. If you think I make sense, you’re probably not reading it right. I have lost my ability to really convey my thoughts on the page (or screen). The desire to do so is hiding, on account of feeling incredibly stupid every time I try to open up and share very personal thoughts or feelings.

This simply will not do.

I think that in order to get anywhere, to take any steps toward happiness, contentment, or …I should just stop now… etc., I have to go back and sort through all the thoughts that are holding my back or weighing me down. I need to de-clutter my inner world, so that I can step back and see a real picture, rather than an overwhelming heap of to-dos and wishes. Thus, I have decided to create this series of posts. Some of them will be very serious and possibly depressing. Others might be more fun or even hopeful. We’ll see–once I can distinguish any one picture from another.

This is not a writing project. This is a human project, expressed in writing. But I think it belongs on this blog anyway.

 

Thank you for reading.

Word Drawing

I have been a little bit resentful, over the past few years, of the fact that I can’t draw. I have wished that I had been a visual artist instead of a writer. I think that, for people who are very dedicated to the work they’re doing, neither one is really easier. But… but. I am convinced that my finished product as an artist would come across much closer to what I’m trying to express. When I write, I often do not feel like readers understand the work. I say this in part because my very favorite flash fiction pieces are never anyone else’s favorite.

It gives me the impression that no one gets me (as a writer–let’s not to into no one getting me as a person). And how will any publisher or agent ever want to work with me if no one gets me?

That’s part of the purpose of editing and struggling to create the story you really want to tell. The reader can only do so much on their own. It is up to the writer to make it possible for the reader to “get” them.

I’m sure it’s the same, sometimes, for artists. But in a different way. I’m sure artists sometimes execute the picture just as they intended but do not really have any way to explain what it means. As a writer I can get my meanings across often just as I intended (or as close as I could possibly come, and of course sometimes the actual meaning is missed entirely), but I can’t convey the picture as I see it. I can describe a field dotted with trees under blue sky brushed with purple in the early dawn, but is my reader seeing the same field I envisioned? The most likely answer is no. They aren’t.

Imagery is very important in writing because it helps the reader understand and engage with the story and the world the writer has created. However, it’s also very hard. Chances are, no matter how precise your details are, readers will interpret them into various versions of the writer’s original image.

If I could draw or paint, the image, though processed differently by each viewer, would remain the same.

Thinking about it, this just seems like a control issue. So I’ll just say, “Lighten up. It’s no big deal.”

 

*** I was going to edit this, and then I didn’t feel like it, so here you go, totally raw writing.

Another Life #29

“You and I are very alike. We make the same mistakes over and over again. I guess in different ways,  but there they are. We want much more than what we think we can have. We want to connect, but we don’t know how – we have theories about it, although we don’t know for sure, and we’re frustrated that the entire world doesn’t agree with us in that way, and many others. You and I, we hold things inside because we just don’t know where else to put them. We hoard moments of pleasure or contentment – little shreds of what looks like happiness – to use as stepping stones across vast stretches of hard times. We stare out of windows and try to take opportunities that aren’t really there. We are treading air, about to fall, and we can hardly breathe. Maybe you, maybe I, should have given up a long time ago.”

 

Pause.

“But we’re still here, so that says something…”