Auld Lang Syne

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

up and thinking

Here are two things I'd rather not be right now: up and thinking. Ugh. Slept earlier this evening when I wanted to be awake and now I am up when I'd rather be sleeping. Just one more proof the world is upside down.

While waiting to get tired again, or for the melatonin to kick in, I decide to write something. Not to finish the unfinished blog of the other day which can wait, but a little bit about what it is like to not be writing.

I have not written a word (poetry or prose) for a week now. Feels a bit like that popcorn kernel that gets stuck in the back of the throat. There is something THERE but I can't quite get to it by coughing or scratching my tongue against it. It is irritating and I am overly focused on it. Nothing. I want to write. Really, I have ideas for poems or beginnings of poems, but nothing nothing nothing.

I'm going to guess it is some kind of instinctive rest period. I have been so prolific for a while now that my brain is objecting, rejecting my zeal and verve. It wants to grow a few new cells or something, maybe re-coat a couple nerve bundles or cook up some connective juices. I feel how tired my brain is and yet I want to make it work harder. I am a cruel mistress of my brain.

I go through this same thing every once in a while, a thing which is not Writer's Block. It is a brain strike, cells lined up in protest against the work I shovel at them. What to do?

I think I will try reading. Oh sure, I do that all the time. But I think I will indulge and read FICTION. Fiction reading is my vacation. Not a complete vacation mind you because I usually find myself making notes for poems as I read. But it is a break, a movement to an island in my brain where there are no stanzas, rhymes, line breaks, metaphor choices to make. It is a sunny beach and I will lie on it with a cool drink with one of those little umbrellas in it. I will make myself something wonderful of this break from poetry.

Or maybe I will sleep some more. I could declare a day of rest and stay in bed. Oh wait, I can't seem to stay asleep right now. Bah! On the other hand I might just browse through some web sites and see about submitting a few poems somewhere. NO! RESIST! REST!

Reading it is then. The Night Circus and We Animals seem like good choices. Both are started already and I can just pick up where I left off. Good idea. (Brain is nodding approval, but suggesting sleep...) OK I answer, so if you want me to sleep, YOU can make that happen. Shut off the light in the sleep center and let me go back to bed!

In college, this would be the time to go make some eggs and toast. But I'm not in college now and the idea of cleaning the kitchen at this hour is not appealing. So, back to bed I go to wait for sleep.

Up and thinking. Bah!