Sunday Morning ~ The Arrow We Look At
Mubvi woyang’anira ulowa m’cikope. ~ The arrow you just look at, hits your eye.
~ Chewa proverb
January 23, 2022
For the first time in a long time, I’ve had writers block. I don’t make a living at this so it doesn’t matter really, but it has been strange. Over the past nine years I’ve been writing every Sunday even when I thought I had nothing to say. I’d sit down to write out of habit and stuff just started coming out. None of it was pulitzer prize material, though some I thought was pretty good, but it’s always been effortless. Two weeks ago I sat to write and nothing came out and I couldn’t figure out why. I did my usual letting my mind go and seeing where the writing went, but it went nowhere. Everything I put on the page seemed trivial and stupid. I had my finger on the delete button longer than on the keys and finally decided to put it away. The next week it happened again even though I wanted to write about the glorious skiing, beautiful landscapes, the weekend with old friends, the bitter cold, the furnace drama. Nothing came out. My news of growing family, ailing relatives, future dreams, and mundane chores all stewed together in the same pot and the longer they cooked, the soggier they became. Nothing shone; it was all a pile of mush. Delete, delete, delete. Trips I’m planning, initiatives I’m working on, unresolved family conflict, all used to be clambering to get out of my brain onto a page. But for the past few weeks they just sat there, rolling around together getting mixed up with menus planned, leaking faucets, slippery roads, and dead batteries. And then I wondered, why do I do this anyway?
When I first published the book the publisher told me I should write a blog. At that time I didn’t even know what a blog was. I was scared about what I was getting into and felt incredibly vulnerable. But, once I started I found it fun and looked forward to sitting down every Sunday and putting my thoughts out there. So it was uncomfortable to sit there with the whole day in front of me and nothing to say. Or more accurately, to be unable to unscramble the words I did want to say. I started getting worked up about it then laughed because this is a completely optional activity. I could take a week or two off and the world wouldn’t collapse. I may have worried if I missed a week I’d never go back to it. I think that’s why I’m forcing it today.
This seems like more drivel but I’m sick of whining about current events. My images of staring down arrows and taking action are blurry and undeveloped. Nothing comes into focus so I’m leaving them alone for now.
I’ve decided to be brave this week and:
- Post something. Anything to get out of this rut.
- Go on an adventure. I’m leaving this week to meet up with my brother, then do a road trip to Utah for a couple of weeks of skiing. He’s staying there; I’ll take a train home. This should be interesting. I can not remember the last time my brother and I did something together without a whole lot of other people involved (maybe never?). It should make for some good stories for next Sunday. Thank God. I love writing travel stories. For all the wanderlust I’ve harbored, I have not wanted to go anywhere since the pandemic started. It’s given me an appreciation for homebodies and a bit of travel anxiety which I’ve never had before. Ordinarily, I can’t wait to get on the road but my little car has been looking at me wondering what happened. So, vaccinated and boosted with a wide assortment of masks, I’ll finally find out what all the fuss is about skiing out west. I can teach my class from there and am hoping the mountains and hours outside will clear my head. I have someone to stay at my house and the plumber might be moving in as well for all the time he’s spent here this week. So here goes…
Love to all,