Do you ever have those days when you feel like there’s nothing new under the gloom of a long winter? Everything beautiful has all ready been written. Every capture by a camera has all ready been viewed by millions? Every painting, poem, and grand novel has all ready been created. Searching for inspiration comes to a dead end that sends me back where I began, like a cable car at the end of the line. Turning in place, tail always trying to catch up with the head, never quite there, never quite good enough powers down on me during these bouts of doubt.
I read and I read and I read. I read blogs, I read books, I read magazines, I read emails, I read menus, signs, recipes, directions, and just words. Everywhere I look words cover the world in beauty and ugly phrases. Has it all been said? Is there anything new to say to a world filled with too many words all ready?
I write and then I write some more. I write about cat pee on a carpet and gardens and flowers and herbs and how to create that perfect wall décor with just right frames placed in just right patterns, all with the eye of a shadow artist.
I journal in a complaining whiny voice that exaggerates my frustrations with where I live and the present circumstances of a depressed area where standing in line waiting for the unemployment check takes precedence over anything else life has to offer. I write about an old wandering man in the town where I grew up. I blog about flowers, gardens, and anything that creeps into my head when sleep runs ahead of me laughing. I put my heart and soul on the page, but are my sufferings, transgressions, or joys any different from anyone else who lives an ordinary life? I can hear you say, “But it’s how you say it.” Perhaps so, but is it good enough? Is it enough to shed the skin that covers the heart just to become transparent to readers? Or to be truly unique, a voice heard among the masses of writers out there, must I commit suicide over and over… dying bit by bit as I write?
I wander about in an aimless search for something. I see photographs of smiling children looking more beautiful than angels. I see simple pleasures grace page after page, site after site turned into surreal moments that transcend simplicity. My fingers touch the monitor convinced that I can feel the velvet of the rose, but it’s a cold technical face that touches me back. I view shocking, sublime, and sensual in one quick click of the mouse. So if there’s all ready so much to see, does the world really need one more wannabe photographer who points and shoots? Today, the answer is no…the world will be quite content if I never pick up a camera again.
Perhaps silence is or should be the new “in” thing. Instead of constant visual feasts of words and pictures, I need silence and quiet reflection. Yet…I think too much. I get lost in my head. I’m afraid someday I’ll get so lost in there that I won’t find my way back out.
Buck up! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps! Stop complaining! Who do you think you are? What good does all this do? “Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking,” sings Lyle Lovett. I’m not sure I can do that today.
MJ's response to my whining...
I read the product of your bummed-outed-ness. Wow. I suppose, if you're a writer, you would sometimes get to that point of thinking it's all been said before. I think that's why talented people go mad. Please don't go mad! Stay with me here! Did you feel better after writing it? I want you to know that your writing inspired me to go out and buy myself some flowers. I've never done that before. So your writing is important. That's proof. I'm sending a picture.
What a wonderful friend! Thank you!