“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
So true, right?! These are partly the reasons I miss writing and reading so much. If all I can do is steal away five minutes to post a favorite inspiring quote and put in my two cents, it’s worth hiding from work that long and decreasing that isolation by about ten percent. Funny how just five minutes talking to your friends through a short blog can ease tension and frustration and free the soul, even for just a bit.
But you know, I miss my imaginary friends, too. I haven’t been able to converse with them in a while and I think they’re angry with me, because they’re giving me the silent treatment. I wonder what would happen if I actually had one hour to spare to sit down and work on a nice piece of fiction. Would anyone come out to play? If I fixed tea and brought out some shortbread? I have a great recipe. I can be a lovely hostess. I’m trying to figure out a way soon to square away one solid hour for such a treat. How I wonder what will happen?! I clasp my hands to my heart as if a silly school girl having been asked to the school dance by the cutest boy in class.
My anticipation is both intoxicating and m-m-m-making m-me j-j-j-jittery at the thought, “What if I’m sitting there with the tea and cookies and no one shows up? What if they are still wanting to be silent? What then? What’ll I do?!” If you stifle the voices for months till they no longer speak to you, do they start talking again when you invite them? I never actually invited them before. They were just there, hanging out in the recesses of my mind, sometimes sleeping and then screaming at me at 2am to get up and listen! Sometimes one voice. Sometimes several. One scene. Then another and another, flooding my mind as I gasp for breath and plead with them to slow down, “I can’t keep up!” Once the writing starts, the mojo kicks in 30 minutes later (unless it’s the voices at 2am, which means mojo begins on hyper overload) and it’s like a movie playing and I soooo wish I could tape record everything so I wouldn’t miss anything. It’s nice that I get reruns on this thing or I think I just might die.
Does anyone out there deal with this? Or am I the only crazy?