Sometimes there are just no words.
I suppose that's how every writer with writer's block starts a piece of writing.
But I sit here day by day, in front of a journal or an empty post or a blank Word document, and come up with just tiny little snippets, itty bitty segments of understanding that are all well and good, but have no cohesion and do not a blog post make.
I read the words of others and suddenly my brain is filled with them, coming to me rapidly, in spurts, and as soon as I start getting them down on the page it shuts off. They're gone. These short-lived moments of inspiration are almost as exasperating as coming up with nothing.
There was the time I was a senior in college and about to go home for Thanksgiving, only before I left, I stopped in front of the mirror over the sink and decided I wanted my hair to be short. And so I took the sharpest scissors I had and chopped it all, from long down my back to just at my shoulders. It was as if I had no choice in the matter, as if my hands just moved involuntarily and I didn’t have a say until after the job was done.
I went home that holiday with a new look and strange sense of accomplishment that didn’t quite feel as satisfying as I thought it would.
That memory came to me the other day and I felt like putting it down. But from there I stop. Fingers paralyzed over the keys. What's next? I think. What's my message here? Where am I going with this? For long ago, I got it in my head that a decent blog post was so much more than a few photos and a garble of sentences about the experience. There needed to be substance, there needed to be meaning. As if before then, none of it had been enough.
Here's another example:
The days at work have been slow and I've been making sure the inspiration is still coming in and just now the light faded just a tiny bit and for a moment I could imagine it being summertime, a hot sticky afternoon when the sun goes behind the clouds and a big thunderstorm rolls in, and all us people stuck inside in the cool of the air conditioning while the rain pours outside.
But then I get up and look out my sole office window and notice the people are wearing scarves, sweatshirts, hair blowing in the wind on this first day of spring. It was just summer dreaming. The sun did indeed go behind a cloud but that was just to chill the air a bit and help March live up to its name. I woke up at 2:00 this morning to the sound of the rain pouring outside and I'm sure it will pour again, later.
The light changes so fast.
Words that just spilled out in a sheer few minutes of inspiration with no real direction or purpose as I noticed the changing light in the room and the desire to comment on it.
To no real person or audience or platform. To just put the words down for the sake of the beauty of them.
So perhaps this post has no meaning. I have no profound moment of clarity or deep inner message or wisdom that will be sent out into the world to soothe a heart or resonate with a soul.
Perhaps this is just a practice. A habit of self-discipline and words, to sit before the blank canvas and wait for the words to come, and to eek them out when they inevitably do, no matter how painfully.
Because the light changes so fast.
And I would like to write.