It’s like a slow creeping inertia that methodically envelops the brain. Blocked, stuck, in a rut, whatever you call it. Every writer experiences it, though many – for whatever reason – will not admit that it buyexists. There is, of course, a cure, which may be why so many reject the idea that the creativity has stopped. All you need is time, they say. Go back to the beginning, try again, try harder, stop admitting defeat.
I’m so tired.
My mind often slides toward silence, the dark, something soothing as a warm pool, a summer day, a tranquil scene spread out before you. Mine is the dark, the quiet, and I can never find the quiet these days. I can never seem to reach the tranquil part of my mind, the place where I can let go and allow the thoughts to flow. Children, diets, worry, illness, school, money, relationships, money, groceries, money. Where does it end? Where can it end when everything is an endless loop, knot of anxiety that never ends, never untangles, is never satisfied with the time and energy expended upon it?
Claim politics. Current events. Gun control. Abortion. No one appreciates art anymore, so why bother? But they are all excuses. Art comes from within, art is a subversive act that needs no vindication. We make art in the face of dysfunction, greed, violence, disdain. We make art because we cannot bear not to.
What happens to us when the art refuses to come, though? Are we people, like everyone else? Or are we filled up with our thoughts, the way the colors change at a certain time of day, the way your wife says a word, imaginary people and places and things and horrors and beauty and love and disgust and hate and lust. Are we really people? And if we are, why does it hurt when we are empty?
I am empty, but filling.
There is no one word that fills me with joy, but rather thousands of words, millions of words. I am made of words, my skin is punctuation, my eyes are quotation marks, my breath is every word that exists to describe a sigh, my guts are in italics. The rest of me is words, infinite and forever. And when my soul is sick, my words grow sluggish. When I am too spent to feel the way they taste in my mouth, I must stop the noise, the thoughts, the way I worry. I must stop and step back into the darkness and the silence.
It’s always there, waiting for me to shut the world out, shut my thoughts down. It’s always there, waiting for me to breathe. My mind slides toward silence and I allow it, and that’s all it takes. I am filling up again until the next interruption, the next frenzied thought, the worry and the blame and the inability to turn off, to shut down.
But for now, the silence. I am filling. That is all that matters.
I try. And I get up again and write.