Mid-January, night, sound machine on, the dog asleep. This is a narrow path, this writing journey; the isolatory nature of placing words on paper, making some sense of things. I pretend there’s more at stake than there really is, convincing nobody, fooling only myself. Between the two weeks of illness at the holidays and the last two weeks of the school semester, my energy has turned dark, the motivation towards the positive almost invisible.
The new year brought some thought of fresh routine, of yoga classes and a shift in my normal day-to-day manner of getting things done. Third week of the year and I’m in a slump, avoiding exercise, overstressing about finances, contemplating the whys and the wherefores, the what-ifs and the whither-to-now’s. It’s not as if I’m depressed, though my Irish attraction to the dismal doesn’t always serve me too well.
Finally, after months of dipping in and out of it, I finished Anna Burns’ Milkman. I get the hype, the ingenuity of the writer to spin a tale so well, the syntactically complex sentences and the familiar cadences broken into new ones. Still, it was a hard slog, broken up with a fair number of Young Adult graphic novels and some other books. Even the urge to read something new is dimmed. Mary Oliver’s essay collection, Upstream is in my writing bag, and it gives me deep pleasure to read her thoughts about life and nature and mortality.
I have nothing in progress in the writing world, no submissions, no hooks and lines to attend to, rather, there’s little to manage at this point. Supposedly, I’ve a collection of short fiction/prose poetry being looked at, though my radar tells me to harbor little hope of success. One small piece written over the past four weeks might make it out into the world, but that would mean mobilizing and logging on to Submittable.
Instead, I’ve run a bath, made a cup of tea, considered signing up for boot camp tomorrow morning, which I most likely won’t do. Probably in a bit of a slump if I’m honest with myself. For no good reason. Just because. Sometimes it’s from the thick of the woods that the birdsong emerges, and maybe that’s where I’m at right now, in the thicket, hidden by branches, waiting for my voice to return to me.