William Zinsser says, “To write well about your life you only have to be true to yourself.”
I knew that. It doesn’t make it easier to choose to delve into something I don’t feel like delving into, however, and I recognize all the signs of avoidance — like grabbing my broom to rid the stairs of the dust bunnies that have taken up residence since we got rid of the carpet.
They’re huge, shadowy puffs that seemingly morph from one corner to another, gathering cat hair and our life’s dentritus with each pair of passing feet.
I see them as I trudge up and down to refill my coffee cup or half-heartedly perform some chore and marvel that they appear so quickly. They’re fascinating until they become a larger mass, swept to the bottom of the stairs waiting to be scooped into a dust pan and into the trash along with my determination.
* * *
I’m tired of thinking about food, about writing about food. Tired of organizing my life around the planning and shopping, organizing and preparing of food. If I needed just one scapegoat for my lack of productivity, it would be that, and yet the amount of time it takes contradicts any lack of productivity.
I’m tired of thinking about food. Tired. But that will most likely change at lunchtime.
* * *
I’ve been trying to decide whether it’s better to classify myself as a procrastinator, or dreamer. Drifty is more like it. Drifting like those dust bunnies from one point to another with little or no substance or anchor. Well, not quite that dramatic, but puffing along from one whim to the next and incapable of moving of its own volition. Lacking initiative.
* * *
It was foggy outside this morning when I woke up and the residual dampness has given the air a smell that comes only when raindrops first hit the asphalt. I stand on the patio in the slight chill, my not so willing to be outside this early in the morning toes curling against the flagstones, and I breathe deeply. The trees rustle with the slight breeze and I’m surprised to hear a bird’s call I don’t recognize, wondering where it’s coming from and why I haven’t noticed it before. Happy thing.
* * *
I just finished Blessings by Anna Quindlan. It’s about identity and the effect family can have on it — or not. It’s about quite a bit more than that, but when I talk about a book I’ve read I somehow find myself feeling like I’m completing a book report and have to supress the urge to run screaming from the room. I’ll find myself later picking this one up to read parts of again because Quindlan’s writing has that effect on me, most likely because I can wallow in long passages of description and deep delving into a character’s thoughts to a level not unlike that of my dust ball analysis. Unfortunately, I read just before I go to sleep each night and not many pages at that these days. Any influence her words have on me is lost in the jumble that has been my dreams recently, and since I still can’t quite give myself permission to read during the day, my thinking is lost and with it any inspiration to write.
Why a person needs to give herself permission to read during the day is fairly stupid.
* * *
You’re wondering about the silly asterisks right? Me, too. But it’s the only way that I could actually sit down and write something today. Anything.
And so I did. I’d call that being true to myself.
Or avoiding being true to myself, which is probably more the case.
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