Monday, January 31, 2005

Notes From the Resistance

Today tastes like limes, cola, and perfume. This perfume that I had when I was just a girl, some Avon stuff based on baby powder and sweetness, but then it was oh so sophisticated, beyond what even Paris could manage.

I would like to set down a list of excuses. Excuses why I wasn’t at the computer Friday, or even this weekend, and why I didn’t get to this piece until just now, flicking through Writing Down the Bones.

I managed a piece on all my writing days the week before last. This past Wednesday’s piece about resistance was pretty good (and how’s this for resistance—I got up from my desk and walked all the way through the house to the kitchen to double check the date. Sneaky, sneaky monkey mind.) But last week just fell apart.

I’d like to blame it on work, but that’s not really real. One person left us, having given two weeks notice (and why do companies insist on getting two weeks’ notice if they aren’t going to USE those two weeks to replace the person who’s going??? If all they’re going to do is sit until the next weekend when they can run an ad in the paper and begin looking for a replacement) so yes, we’re short handed—but it doesn’t make that much difference in my life. I think I miss her more when we have to double up on the quick but scutty housekeeping work than I do when it comes to covering the parts of the actual workload. As the cats would say—I have to cut my midmorning nap short, but it’s doable.

I could blame it on the hormonal flux of womanhood, but that’s such a cop-out. Unless something is really truly wrong, that’s just a convenient excuse for the I don’wanna’s. I don’ wanna run the 440 in gym, I’ll say I’ve got my period and the male gym teacher will let me go to the nurse and lie down. Do you really wanna beg off a quarter of your adult life (hell, three quarters—it’s the week before, it’s the week of, it’s the week after). Nope? Well, your fingers are attached to your internal organs by only the most indirect means, so get some chocolate and a heating pad, and come sit over here and push the keys.

I could blame it on lack of inspiration, but here I’ve blathered on for five paragraphs (six, including this one) without any more idea of what to write about other than kvetching that I don’t want to write, that I’m feeling stale (verbally, that is—I’ve been knitting and painting up a storm this weekend, and have paint all over my hands right here and now. I hope this washes off before work tomorrow. At least it’s not in my hair, or on my glasses.)

So I’m hunting through Writing Down the Bones, the way I do when I’m stumped for an edge to pry up some thoughts (somehow avoiding the thought that I could just sit down and pour out this stream of consciousness stuff) and of course, what really appeals has to do with getting even further away from streams of thought, from paragraphs that pull together and do something. The exercise that looks like big fun now gives you wonderful clever sentences with unexpected nouns and verbs, but it’s like making a meal of nothing but herbs—no meat, no potatoes, but we have borage. And lavender. And mint.

And all that is is another way to get away from the business of writing to practice to remember to write. (Sigghhhhh—oregano, oregano, oregano. Try that again.) The business of practicing writing, the business of remembering to practice writing, to write even the blah mundane filler bits among the flips and the spins and the quadruple lutzes. You will have to take off the skates and walk, just like any other mortal man, back to the dressing room to change back into mufti.

Although her idea of the nouns and verbs sounds like great fun for the titles of the journals I bind. And heaven knows I have enough paper to keep me going on those for a long long time. Hmmmmm . . . .

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