Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Haven't Been Writing

I haven’t been writing.
I’ve been paging in at blogs that used to be my regular habitat… like a voyeur… staring in through windows.  Some of them stained glass and breathtaking, some with gell clings letting light shine through in colorful splashes, some quaint, some gritty, and all beautiful.
I was out with a friend a few weeks back and someone asked me what I did for a living, and I kind of froze… trying I guess to figure out how to explain my job, which encompasses a lot of things, from data entry to report coallation to web design… and my friend said, “She’s a writer.” 
I swear to you, I turned around to see who the hell she was talking about.
Oh, yeah.  Me.  I think that’s me.  Or it used to be me.
I’ve done that a few times over the past few months – paged up old blogs or facebook statuses, and read something I said a year ago… and then I remember, I was a writer.  I’ve picked up books, and fallen into them like I’ve found the only place that I could ever rest my head, and then I remember, oh yeah, I was a writer.  In the middle of a rather hectic day, with no break in sight, brand new shiny idea popped right into my head, like the urge to get these people down on the page never abandoned me… of course, I couldn’t stop what I was doing to encourage it, but still, it was better than the silence.
Oh my God the fucking silence. 
If any of you ever heard of Padre Pio, he was a monk, now a saint… I once read that he said he knew what hell was.  It wasn’t fire and brimstone and demons assailing you.  It was the absence of God.  It was not being able to feel Him, to hear Him, to know He was with you.  It was the silence.
And I’m sure some people will read this and think, “Really, you’re comparing telling stories to God?”  Yeah, I am.  And it’s not some sappy bit about the muse being divine and these stories being salvation… but the absence of it, the loss of that compulsion, it’s like they took all the air out of the room.  You don’t even think about air when you’re breathing fine, it’s about the only thing you can think of when you’re drowning, though.
There are a million lofty sentiments people throw at you when you’re not doing so well.  “God never gives you more than you can handle.”
The fuck He doesn’t.  Why do you think people drink themselves stupid or throw themselves in front of trains?  More than they could handle, I’d say.  And I used to think, somewhere deep down where the real scared little shit who makes up excuses for why the boogy man could never get me lives, that those people were weak, or quitters, or something.  Something I wasn’t.
I always love stories about underdogs.  I love it, in real life and in fiction, when someone beats the odds, fights their way through, finds their happy ending against great odds. No one ever tells you how to see the beauty in failing.  The truth is, most people fail.  Some gracefully, some kicking and screaming, some taking as many people with them as they can grab onto.
So the blog’s been silent.  My head’s been silent.  Maybe it’s just a down cycle… or a reflective year.  And I don’t think I care so much if I fail anymore… but I’d really rather do it with the voices in my head chattering away again.