Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tunnel vision

Last night, I drove around my neighborhood, looking at houses and staring up at the moon. It was past midnight; there were no other cars on the road except mine. I didn't know where I was going, only that I wasn't ready to go home yet. I drove to the old neighborhood, where the houses have stood since the Civil War, and the families go back even further. I thought about the people who live in these houses, safe in their familiar lives and I wondered, do they know what this is like?

Lately, I've been stumbling around punch-drunk, bumping my knees and banging my elbows. I haven't been able to write or to read or to concentrate for more than five minutes. I've let everything in my life slide for the sake of this feeling. I've let it completely invade me, take over every aspect of my thoughts. It's settled itself across my brain like a thick, dense fog that I can't see my way out of.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write poems, stories, whole books, and now that all seems strange, foreign to me. Now I wonder, where did that girl go, the one who was so in love with words? Has she disappeared completely? Or was she ever really there in the first place?

There's a place for this feeling but there has to be a place for these words too. Just like I don't want to let go of this mood I'm in, I don't want to let go of these words, these stories. I can feel them slipping away and I worry that if I let them go, I'll lose them forever, along with that other version of myself. I want that girl back. I want her to remember why it was that she started writing in the first place. I want her to prove what she can do, to herself and to the world. I want her to find herself again. Does anyone know the way?


Blogger Flood said...

Sometimes, when I'm watching strangers pass me by, I wonder what they're thinking.

Anon Man: "I am a man. I am manly. I have a family I love. I am good at my work. Tonight, I am going to watch some TV. I am confident in myself."

I always make the stories of strangers end in confidence with who they are. So many times, though, we're so hard on ourselves about how we feel or what we should be doing. Since blogging, I've lost something (angst, woe, a need?) for writing. I'm not sure that one begat the other but like you, I am missing a part of me that was scared but wonderful.

If you find the answer, let me know.

7/11/2006 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Ella said...

Love is horribly disorienting, isn't it? I have been enjoying these posts, by the way. You really manage to capture that dizziness.

7/11/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Flood, I'm looking but I don't know if I'll find it. But if I do, you'll be the first to know.

Ella, I've been staggering around punch-drunk for so long I think my eyes have gone crossed. I don't even think I'm making sense anymore but I'm glad you liked the posts.

7/11/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Been there, am there, but too tired to do much about it.

7/11/2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger Justin Evans said...

Roll with it. Don't worry about it. Just let it happen. Everything is eventual.

7/11/2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I'm afraid it's never going to happen. I'm afraid I've lost my passion for writing, if I ever really had any to begin with. I don't know what to do.

7/11/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Jeweliet, what a cute baby, by the way.

7/11/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger jason evans said...

If you lost your passion for writing, you could not have written that lovely post.

It's still there. Just don't chase it away. Let it come out on its own terms.

7/11/2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I hope you're right.

7/11/2006 2:20 PM  
Anonymous bookfraud said...

passion cannot be extinguished. it will come back; this is obvious by the fact you're worrying so about whether or not you'll get the writing jones again. you're just channeling your passion in other ways for the moment.

write about how you feel -- just as you're doing now. you'd be surprised how that comes in useful later on for fiction & poetry.

7/11/2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Again, I hope you're right. These days, I'm not so sure.

7/11/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous fringes said...

Go with your current occupation for now. This love thing you have going on. It's a wonderful feeling. Much better than writing at this very second, right? When things settle down (and they will settle down, all into the right places), you can get back to being you. But a better you. That's a blessing and a gift. Take it and run, girlfriend.

7/11/2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger Lex Ham Rand said...

We are all ad-libbing our way through life - don't let anyone try to fool you with "I planned it this way all along."

Sometimes you are experiencing, living, breathing, loving, sensing, being in the moment. This is not wasted time. This is our Dionysian time, free and unstructured.

Sometimes you are quiet, thoughtful, reflective, and that is the time to sort out all of the things that you sensed and breathed and loved and lived. This is the other side of the coin, the other side of the arc of the parabolic curve. This is your Apollonian time, structured and productive.

And these are not my thoughts - they belong to brother Nietzsche, who believed that both the Apollonian and Dionysian were essential elements of Greek tragedy.

Apollo - sun god - light, clarity and form.

Dionysus - wine god - drunkeness and ecstasy.

Soon your ecstasy will pass, and light and clarity will return. Until then, enjoy it.

7/11/2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I don't think there's much wrong with your writing if the blogs are anything to go by - it's all great writing and they make great reading!I'd just like to encourage you to keep writing and I'm sure the words will soon start flowing again.

7/11/2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Moncrief Speaks said...

The beauty of this post is proof enough that you haven't lost "it."

It sounds as if there's been a lot going on in your life recently! No wonder you have less time to devote for writing. I wouldn't worry about it.

7/12/2006 12:10 AM  
Blogger Quinn said...

Everyone seems to have said all the wise things before I got here.

Relationships vs. Writing. I think the fear of losing one's writing as a result of getting into a relationship comes from a suspicion that if we fall in love we'll become content and that being content means the death of our discontented need to write (but trust me, there's always something to be discontent about).

It's all brain chemicals and stimulation of the temporal lobes in the end. it might seem way out of left field, but Alice Flaherty has a book called "The Midnight Disease: The drive to write, writer's block, and the creative brain" I've not yet finished it, but I'm chalking up my recent resurgence of writing to some of the things I learned there about where writing comes from in the brain.

As others have said, the words will always be there when you need them (unless you have some certain types of severe brain trauma - you're not riding motorcycles without a helmet are you?), it's the motivation that waxes and wanes. Stability and contentedness might be the best solution - when it comes. Be patient.

7/12/2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I haven't read the other comments. As far as I'm concerned, you haven't lost any ability to write, and I have a hard time believing you are losing interest, only confidence. But the latter has to be on the reverse with all the honest praise you are getting here. Keep writing and write through the slumps.

7/12/2006 9:18 AM  
Blogger J. Newberry said...

When I was younger, I used to look in the mirror a lot, wondering, "Is this how I am going to look? Is this when my face stops aging?"

The answer is that there is no answer: my face keeps changing the older that I get.

We don't "become" something. We're called human beings, not human "is." "Being" is dynamic, a flux that reflects or own fluctuating natures.

I don't know that I am a writer. I am writing.

Think of it that way.

Doing so certainly helps me when inspiration and motivation have one the way of my hair--far away and long gone.

7/12/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Thanks everyone for all your wonderful advice. And Quinn, no I'm not riding any motorcycles without a helmet. I used to think that it would make me a better writer if I had some life experiences to bring to it. Now that I'm having one of those experiences, I feel like I'll never write again. I am the happiest and most miserable I've ever been in my entire life. What does that mean?

7/12/2006 11:05 AM  

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