“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
– Isaac Asimov
Last month was a month of many changes for me.
If any of you are regular readers, you’ll probably notice that my posts have dropped dramatically lately. In fact, I only posted one last month, which was in honor of the death of a friend. I’ve had many things to write about – too many, in fact – but I just couldn’t seem to find the words. Everything that was happening was big stuff. Big changes – some good, some bad. Lots of “blog bling” as I like to call it….but the words just weren’t rising to the occasion. And I couldn’t figure out why that was.
But then I stumbled across some notes I had taken last year when I went to a talk by my favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Something she said had resonated with me at the time, so I jotted it down. She said:
“I have found that I cannot write drama while I’m living drama.”
Oh. Okay, I get it now.
How right she was about that. I’m the same way. When I write, there has to be calm. The room has to be quiet, the chores have to be done, there can’t be anything pressing that needs my attention…there just needs to be calm. And my life lately? Heh. There’s not much calm going on here.
First of all, on February 7, I lost my beloved cat, Patches. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably heard about Patches a time or two. In fact, she helped me make it into Chicken Soup for the Soul for the second time with the article I wrote about her and her “step-brother” entitled Tattle Tail. Patches was my girl. She had been with me through a lot over the past six years. She was a rescue kitty and I wasn’t exactly sure how old she was when I got her – but her age had really started showing in the past few months. And on February 7, she gave up the fight…while laying in my arms.
There was so much I wanted to write about Patches. I lost my little buddy – surely she deserved a blog post, didn’t she? But I just couldn’t find the words. Me – the person who has “words” for everything, had no words for the loss of my sweet little pet.
And to add to the “drama” – see this picture?
This picture was taken literally within an hour of my losing Patches. This is Lenny – the rescue pup that we were on our way to pick up from animal control when Patches died in my arms. Talk about drama. My emotions were all over the place. I had to switch emotional gears in a way I don’t think I’ve ever had to do before. To go from such grief to such happiness within minutes…it was just too much.
But Lenny helped me out.
See, Lenny was scared too. And confused. He had no idea what was happening. We practically had to drag him into the car because the poor little thing didn’t know what was waiting for him. Once we finally got him in, I climbed in the back with him – teary eyes and all – and he immediately just made his way into my lap and snuggled. We both needed that. No excited tail wagging or licking or any of that puppy stuff – nope. Just calm, confused, scared snuggling. Oh, how we needed each other that morning. I’m not exactly sure who saved who, to tell you the truth.
(By the way – once Lenny got home and settled, that puppy nature came out full force! He’s such a happy boy and our lives are so much happier with him here. Ain’t he a cutie?)
So, here I was with another major life event to write about – a new little furry member of the family – and still…nothing.
And then came even more changes.
A new job.
I have had a major commute for work for most of my life. In fact, the last time that I lived and worked in the same county, I was eighteen years old. EIGHTEEN. (Now, I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was exactly, but just trust me…it was a long time ago.) And suddenly, I was faced with the opportunity to switch jobs and take a position that was only 14 miles from home. It was such a hard decision to make – I loved my old job and loved the people there. But really, work was the only thing I had in that town. When I was faced with the opportunity to do the same work (with a bit more responsibility…which, for me, is a good thing) and do it closer to home, I just had to take it.
Today was my first day.
And, again, more blog bling. Loss of a pet. A new furball to love. And now a job change. Blog bonanza, man. And what did I have to say about it all?
A big fat nothing. *sigh*
So, I return to the words of my mentor – “I cannot write drama while I’m living drama.” Writing is a way for me to process things. I see things, I feel them, and then I process them through a blinking cursor on a blank computer screen. Sometimes, that process is a quick one. And then other times…the real times…the times that shake me up a bit – well, those are the times that may take just a bit longer. And you know what?
No more fussing at myself for not writing. For not running. For not reading. For not….well, whatever. Sometimes my heart just needs a little time to get back to its regular rhythm before it lets my brain in on the secret that it’s time to get back to normal. I’ll be back. Heck, I just wrote this. I guess I am back.
I just needed a little downtime, that’s all.
Thank you all for still being here. I’m just human, I suppose. Life happens. And eventually, I get back in the swing of things and start putting those happenings into words again. That’s the thing about writing. It never goes away. It’s there. It’s always there…just waiting on the green light from its human container.
Hopefully, traffic is flowing again now.
“I think what makes people fascinating is conflict, it’s drama, it’s the human condition. Nobody wants to watch perfection.”
– Nicholas Cage