#218: Gentle Chaos

We’ve had a few cold days in Michigan this week. Cold enough to prevent me from sitting outside in the mornings with my coffee. This weekend my allergies were acting up, and Sunday I finally caved and took some Claritin-D and spent the day negotiating the accompanying buzz. With the change in season the routines that surround my writing practice are changing too, eroding, being upheaved. There’s a poem by Chogyam Trungpa that DB likes to quote, that I’ve found myself quoting a lot lately:

The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute.
The good news is there’s no ground.

This week I’ve been thinking about obstructions. Internal and external, general and specific … all the different reasons I give for not writing on the days I don’t write (and writing on the days that I do). Sometimes I tell myself that I didn’t sleep well, and am therefore I’m too tired to think clearly (general, external) when really it’s that the next scene I’m working on has too many unknowns and I’m afraid to face it (internal, specific). This happens a lot more than sometimes, actually. Whenever there’s variance to my routine, it becomes ammunition for the real reason(s) I’m not writing. On the good days I can see clearly that it’s happening, and it occurs to me now that maybe this clear seeing is a better thing to strive for than writing every day. (Then I wonder: Is this another obstruction?)

I don’t know if I’m fully there yet, but I’m getting closer to the place where I’m writing just for myself again, for my own development. I’ve said for years that fiction to me is a form of therapy, a way to face things too uncomfortable to face head on, but I seem to forget this for long stretches of time. And now, during this moment of gentle chaos, I’m remembering it again.