I don’t have to explain, but I want to. This is important to me. I feel embarrassed to say that. I probably shouldn’t, but that’s the truth.
I’ve been desperately trying to reignite the fire that used to keep me burning all night until my eyes were as hot as coals behind their lids from staring at a computer screen so long. I’d go to bed with a head like a carnival ride with images spinning and words and phrases playing through my thoughts. I would fall asleep eager to wake up and start again.
Success in stirring myself up has come like the most fleeting of fireworks- here and gone and twice as unsatisfying as a bottle rocket.
The warehouse of my mind has been a sprawling, cold space. I would sit inside myself willing some prose life to transform out of the vacant space, but life does not come from nothingness. Sitting for days at a time I would wait and wait and try fruitlessly to piece together some scraps of inspiration. Occasionally, I might feel the past tugging at my sleeve, but nothing more and finally I gave up.
It's been at least two years since I've taken myself seriously. I don’t know what that means. A very good friend would remind me that it isn’t as necessary to understand as it is to be aware. Mystery is a meaning unto itself, I suppose, even if we ourselves are it.
The phrase “ghosts and empties” is from a Paul Simon song. I always liked that lyric and in the past few years I have carried it in my head. The words have been prescribed a meaning separate from the context of the song. This is how I feel about my life and my words these days. This is also what I have to work with.
Denial has not worked. I’ve tried blaming this writer’s block on love and lost love, the deaths of family and friends, being alone, working too much, and the fire. ‘If only things were not as they are then I could write again’. This was wrong. I can’t reject the vacancy I feel in my heart. We have to take what we’re given and learn to live with what we are not. This may not be the muse I was expecting, but that’s might be why I’ve not been able to find one.
With that final realization, I close my eyes and think for a while about what I will write now with this new point of view. I look inside myself and where I saw an empty warehouse before I now see shadows and empty boxes. I see a beginning to something new.
This first post may be clunky and rough, but it's a start.
It’s raining in January and I’m sitting half dressed on the balcony of a friend’s apartment smoking and I feel like a writer again. I can’t explain that feeling. It’s like coming home or something better. It’s like a lover returning. No, it’s better. It’s like children lost and found.