Random post or Getting your Writing Unstuck

You wake up. It’s not quite seven. You have your whole day ahead. You don’t know what to do. You are no good before your coffee.
Grant. That’s your mother’s voice. Can I get you something. You show her the cup. There’s more to life than food. You say you will have some cereal. You take the paper upstairs. The Queensland Literary Awards will be held on May 17, you read. You are not going to make it. Oh well. You say. You turn to the back. You read the sport. You flick through the non-stories. You realise you no longer care. You have a busy day ahead of you.
How are you Grant. You see the heavy figure, in the familiar white dressing gown, bent backed over the computer. You see him click the mouse. More backgammon. Click. The virtual dice roll. Not too bad, Dad. Where are you going today. Somewhere up near Esk. You looking forward to it.
Some visitors are here from East Timor. You are curious about their lives. How was it for them in the nineties, you wonder? How much of that did they live through How many of them didn’t? What is it like for them now? You wonder but there is no time for those conversations. You have group today.
You hear the door close later. Your parents have gone. That is your signal to ransack all the cupboards in the house. You are looking for your books. They are all over the house. Ah, here’s one now. You pick it up. Tokyo Puzzles. Didn’t spend enough time there for it to puzzle me, but the book is as I remember it. Coin tricks, matchstick tricks, number puzzles. The only kind of magic you know, or used to, is the magic of numbers. You take the book with you, put the book in your bag.
Today, you will practice a different kind of magic, a more everyday magic. You are practicing being present, and trying to be at home.
You check your computer first. No new messages. Not true. Not the messages you wanted. The messages that say you have three new followers. It’s hard to write a blog sometimes. You know, no-one reads my blog and I try to feel okay about that. But it’s difficult. You can feel envious about lots of things, but I feel envious about a couple. I feel envious of the ease with which other people seem to write. I feel envious of the lives I imagine other people must live. Silliest of all, I feel envious of their stats. But you have to tell yourself that it’s okay. You have to tell yourself this because if you don’t your whole writing will feel like a sham, like a carefully arranged deck of cards about to fall and hit the ground. For me, sometimes I feel like I am living my life trying to juggle cards that say things like marriage, work, writing, and they all feel so thin. You have to do this for yourself because you can feel like you don’t know how to write at all, like you don’t have as many gifts as some others. You need perspective(s). At least, I can write in full sentences if and when I want to. At least, I received seventeen years of school. At least, I know the basics of grammar, sentence structure and spelling. At least, I can write something longer than a text. At least, I have these things, a phone with which to text, and a computer with which to write something longer. At least, I have the space and time to write. I don’t have a job right now. I am trying to find one and it feels like looking for a lot of needles in a world full of hay. I know they are out there but they still feel pretty thin on the ground. I know I could still be teaching English like my friends in Japan. I want to do something different now but I don’t quite know what. I am looking for it, and in some strange magical way, I hope it’s looking for me. I hope there is a job out there waiting for me, with my name on it. This is the job that Grant is supposed to do. I know it’s not to rule the world, even though we are all kings in our own little kingdoms with a subject matter of somewhere between one and none. I don’t even rule myself. I am half in control.
So what kind of post is this. It’s the kind of post where I don’t feel the necessity to write well. I’ll just write. It’s a failed writing exercise that I need to be unafraid to make. I need to be brave enough to try. Why do I need to do this? Well, because I have a lot of time on my hands and I have started now and literacy is a gift. I would like to make use of it. So, my digression is complete. Some where way back when my writing was interrupted in the best possible way. My father was asking me if I had taken my medication yet and suggesting in the kindest possible way that I eat some cereal. My father is a very imperfect man but he cares about me and I am lucky.
So here is what I did yesterday. This is why it was a pretty good Wednesday. I woke up, had some coffee, read the newspaper, used my computer, checked my mail, shared some stuff on Facebook, did some meditation. At first I thought my tape recorder was wiping the tapes. My tape recorder is pretty old and I thought perhaps there was some way in which the tapes were being magnetically erased. I have a tendency towards magical thinking. I used to think God was stealing my library books. There was no other way I knew to account for what was happening. I had something and then it was taken from me. Hey, God, do you think I can get my dog back now? That would be truly magical. As I write stuff like that I wonder if someone out there is thinking, doesn’t this guy care about his wife at all. I do, but my dog is kind of symbolic of just-not- having. Part of my story is that I always wanted children, but then I thought about the kind of world I would be raising them in. It’s been a difficult one for me, so I decided that that would be irresponsible. But it was the one thing we really wanted after awhile And now it seems it’s not to be. But I can at least have a dog can’t I? So I do pray those prayers. Hey, God can I get my dog back? Inside of me, there is this very still and gentle voice that wells up and says no, Grant. You can’t. Not just now, and we’ll talk about this later after you have done a little bit more living.
But we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have everything and have everything now. One of the gifts I gave myself yesterday was to do half a meditation. Time sometimes is too short, so I stopped my meditation halfway through so I could go and get everything else done. The Gocard didn’t work again. That thing does steal money from me. But I saw some people and did a bit more DBT and some meditation. We talked about mindfulness and what it meant. I enjoyed the presentation and it was good to feel like I was making a couple of friends. We talked about conversation and the need to learn to listen. I liked hearing what other people had to say. I sometimes talk too freely and don’t say a lot, or say too much. I don’t believe I have to be the best conversationalist in the world, or the best writer. I’m aiming somewhere in the middle, somewhere in the mass that is humanity. That needs to be enough for me, because it’s realistic. So after that, the Gocard stole some more money, I lost my way, I eventually found Westend and talked to some guys and bought a couple of books. Later on, at 6:30 I saw my best friend. We talked about all manner of things. Especially, though, I was saddened to hear about another person’s problem. I am just going to throw this one out there. My friend knows a guy who is SAID to be suffering from Disassociative Identity Disorder. It’s connected to allegedly repressed memories, and suggestive therapy that I believe is harmful. I would ask for a second opinion. If you want to understand about memory read Elizabeeth Loftus, Stephen Ceci and Daniel Schacter. That was the saddest part of my day. The best part of my day… well, there were lots of them but I got a Facebook share so that was great. My writing exercise is over. Oh yeah, I might teach a bit of numeracy and literacy and I feel good about my charity. I think things will pick up or I will hear once and for all, your ideas are crazy. So that’s good.

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2 responses »

  1. Read your blog Grant. Sounds like a tough day, but you got through it, did a few things, met a few people and got to share something of yourself with someone else who will appreciate it. Have you skyped with your dog?

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