stuck. surrendering to despondency. numbing myself to the creative impulse because i am afraid. i feel tired and empty. nothing to say. where to start?
i watch others. new content, brilliant life-giving thoughts beautifully articulated day after day. a seemingly endless supply. i envy them. i hate them. a little.
god forgive me.
i blame my circumstances. so busy. so many demands on my time. but who isn’t busy? i imagine stephen king sitting in his utility room, typewriter on his lap, after a long day of teaching, crunching out novels. i watch friends who work full-time jobs, raise families, and write books. and i feel like a sluggard.
but mostly i’m a coward.
tentative, whipped, barely holding things together myself. how do i give anything to anyone else? paralyzed by my inactivity. inertia feeding inertia.
once upon a time i created every day. was most of it garbage? or did creativity beget creativity? did surrendering to the flow mean that the flow carried me? and now i am the artless swan, hauling my clumsy heft, afraid to surrender to the very flow that would carry me if i let it.
i don’t trust it.
i fear i will drop down in and there will be nothing there. and no one will read. and i will have no excuse. and it’s safer to pretend that i don’t want it, or that it is impossible, or that it is someone else’s fault, or that if circumstances were different, i would be different.
i am weary of myself.
weary of excuses. weary of lazy. weary of blaming.
This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.
Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Robert Bly
a mostly unedited, stream of consciousness blather, lifted from my morning pages.
Mad props to Nita Andrews and Patsy Clairmont who shared this provocative poem with me. It has been good food for thought.