It has be 130 days since I last posted a blog. No, it has been 130 days since I last wrote a piece for my blog — or any blog for that matter. I say this as if I’m in recovery because I suppose to some degree I am.
I would wake up sweating in the morning, shaking well into the evening if I hadn’t yet devoted a portion of my day to the exorcism that is writing about one’s life. Everything I encountered, everything I chose to undertake was all for the purpose of “writing something worth reading or doing something worth writing about.”
People aren’t buying it, I said. I can’t write one more query letter, I said. When did this stop being fun, I said.
But like an addict I kept going — puking up pointless words for the sake of ‘the craft,’ for the sake of being able to continue to call myself ‘a writer.’ And then, something snapped.
They call it rock bottom, when the stable ground beneath you gives way to a slide of debris that settles miles away from the intended landing strip. I landed there. Wounded. And I lay there until my muscles atrophied. Cold turkey is what they call it when you choose to give up your addiction, choose to release the weight of what you are carrying into the wind and start immediately on a new and more fulfilling path. I didn’t do that. I lay broken on the floor of the canyon, screaming as I attempted to claw my way out. A lede here, a paragraph there, but always the delete bar.
I was forced into recovery, laying there, splayed out over the rocks. I let myself go without because there was no option to go with. I found “another way” as they say.
“You’re, like, the real life Carrie Bradshaw,” I had someone say once.
I didn’t want to be Carrie Bradshaw. I didn’t want to write about pithy relationships and late night misadventures with the opposite sex. I wanted to be Jack Kerouac, writing about the road and the wild and the country that shaped me. But that isn’t how I built myself. I built myself in the temple of romance and capitalism, not the great wide open.
So, I fell. I tripped on words that didn’t feel right yet and settled for stories that chipped away at my soul a little bit. I pissed off my husband and set a horrible example for other, new twenty-somethings. I let it get me, and I tumbled.
I lay there on the floor of the canyon, feeling sorry for myself. Letting every need and desire to spill my guts evaporate into the sun. And I let it be. I felt the weightlessness of a life without the right words, without the right message, without a conflict/ climax/ denouement. It felt light.
When I emerged from the canyon — bloodied, but free of whatever demon had possessed me when I first fell — I was clean.
I could let it go, I said.
But, there are some things in life that are too good to quit. There is this: the feeling of my fingers pressing ever so melodically over the keys of this well-worn MacBook, my soul speaking its truth — the only truth it has ever known — that what is inside of me needs to come out.
It has been 130 days since I last felt the Divine move in me. And today, she stirs.