Friday, July 25, 2008

Chasing the butterfly

Yesterday, I saw a lone feather, fluttering against the sidewalk, and I felt a little jealous. 

Some days, things feel heavier than others.

***

Lately, certain thoughts have been rotating in my mind, like a tireless hamster in a wheel.
Money, liars, mistakes, the future...
And while these ruminations usually are just like hailstones, brief in their impact before they bounce off me, lately, they have felt like a coat of armour.

One of these worries I can't seem to peel off is the sense that my words have lost their sparkle. Lately, my writings feel so lusterless compared to what seemed graceful and effortless months prior. Lines used to just pop up, like the proverbial lightbulb over the head, with paragraphs following closely behind, like a train of bright images and phrases. Now, when the lines emerge, they feel more like a butterfly, as though I'm chasing them frantically around with a net, begging them to pause for one moment, just long enough for me to fish out a pen.

It is not that the drive to write is gone. My fingers still feel fluent across the keys. I still find my senses feeding me a miscellany of ideas. I just feel as though they are not translating onto paper as smoothly as before. I have never seen my screen so filled with half-written posts, with concepts in point, rather than paragraph, form. I have never had my inner editor chastise me so about "Not another attempt to make your weekend a series of anecdotes" or "Why are you trying to be funny?"

And I am aware that the solution to my parodied version of writer's block is not force. Images do not emerge under duress. The butterfly will not land on my foot if I am flailing about frantically. It will touch down when I toss away the net and lie in the grass instead.

24 comments:

La said...

I'm going through the same thing right now, although I'd never be able to say it as eloquently as you have. As usual. :)

Surfergrrl said...

I'm pretty sure blog writing and comments have their ebbs and flows. sometimes you just don't have a lot to say...and that's ok. but I really liked this post, so I think you're going OK.

One more month!!! I hope Jacob follows through with the passes!

Jenn said...

I think all writers go through this from time to time. If it helps, this post was quite beautifully written.

Maithri said...

I read nothing but tender grace and warm eloquence in these lines....

Your mind, your soul
is the butterfly...
and we are blessed to watch you wing your way through painted skies...

My love to you dear friend and poet,

Maithri

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

The best thing do in these situations is to find an old lady and shrink wrap her. Then write about it.

Ant said...

Yup. Wot you said.

Then wot Toast said.

Then wot the Police Officer said.

twentysomethingandclueless said...

This reminds me of a line from a Deborah Garrison poem, but I can't remember it exactly...I will look it up and come back!!

In the meantime, I hope the word flow comes back to you :)

distractedspunk said...

I understand that. To be honest, I feel as though my own writing has been a bit one-note about depression.

But I think we're still going to be here, no matter what. :)

NamesAreHardToPick said...

You elucidate perfectly on writer's block - though the post was a little difficult to read with all the loud sounds of irony over each statement. But any good writer is guaranteed to go through it from time to time; sometimes just giving yourself a break and then returning when it comes back is all that's needed.

tmamone said...

It's happens.

twentysomethingandclueless said...

ok I looked up the poem, and it's actually an entire poem that your post kinda reminds me of, so I"m not going to copy it out here. LoL But it's called Her Majesty Loses Her Touch, if you're interested. :)

the almost right word said...

like jenn said -- i think this is a common cycle. sometimes we feel inspired, others we feel, well, literally dry. be patient. don't push. and enjoy something else instead of feeling bad or giving yourself a hard time. your writing is wonderful, even if you're experiencing a dry spell.

pelf said...

Perhaps it's time to really lie down in the grass and watch butterflies? :D

Or perhaps beautiful things shouldn't be caught with a net in the first place?

Crushed said...

We all get it from time to time.

I think it returns when you least expect it.

Rachel said...

There seems to be an epidemic of this going on. At least you describe it so well.

Crashdummie said...

awww bummer. Writers cramp?
Dont sweat it pp, sometimes the best way to move forward is to take a step back.

U might just need a break to get some space and air, and to find your muse all over again.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Oh, I totally go through this all the time! With music, too. I think it's a balance, though-- continuing to try will make you a stronger writer and will make the words come! But, you're right, beating your head against the wall is not going to do it. :)

It's so hard!

Bayjb said...

I think your writing is still great, but I understand if you're going through a minor burn out. I am too, especially after BlogHer. Take a few days and take a break and come back refreshed, just let your mind relax, which I know is easier said than done :)

Yoda said...

No, not making any sense to me.

You say that you're not being eloquent in such an eloquent post?

"Images do not appear under duress"

Boy that sentence wouldn't have come out of me on my most eloquent of days! LOL!

Carrie said...

I think you reached the right conclusion...don't beat yourself up about it, don't overthink it, and the words will come.

lissa said...

me too. the words aren't flowing for me at all... the opening of this is gorgeous.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Seriously? You think this isn't your best stuff? Can you be serious??

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

"It is not that the drive to write is gone. My fingers still feel fluent across the keys. I still find my senses feeding me a miscellany of ideas. I just feel as though they are not translating onto paper as smoothly as before. I have never seen my screen so filled with half-written posts, with concepts in point, rather than paragraph, form. I have never had my inner editor chastise me so about "Not another attempt to make your weekend a series of anecdotes" or "Why are you trying to be funny?""

the butterfly is your friend, you know. And it will alway land on your toes, your shoulder or your nose. Just let it fly.

Your writing is some of the most intelligent work one can find on the internet, and I missed it just as much as I missed any of my blog friends. And there are lots of them with tremendous talents.