Saturday, March 19, 2011

336) the art of escaping myself


the literary life 3/19/11

Wow! Three weeks since I've written. Well, the weekends have been a rush and frenzy of activity lately, and the weeks have been no different. But today, for a change, I woke up early and read Lolita. Then I made myself a cup of tea and surfed the web. Then I drove into Thousand Oaks for an appointment, after which I drove back feeling a bit depressed because my thoughts started to gather and scatter in the ways they tend to do when I actually let myself think about the chaos lurking underneath. To treat myself, I stopped for tacos before I got back home. Later, I debated whether or not I wanted to go to an evening event at school, an event which seemed like a big deal, but I did not feel personally pressured to attend. So I called my mother and chatted with her instead. I wrote a little and then crashed in bed. I napped for over an hour and woke up feeling rejuvenated. This was the blessing of the day, this assuaging nap. It was one of those "I won the lottery naps", the kinds that cats seem to boast about implicitly as they saunter past their frazzled human companions. When I was finally up, I stumbled down to the gym. A couple of hours ago, my husband and I went out for pizza & beer, followed by a trip to CVS. And as the evening winded down, I could feel this sense of sadness returning...this sense of nothingness lurking...an existential emptiness I try to dodge by diving earnestly into life...into doing and creating. But who is this woman who goes almost a month without posting, reflecting, and writing poems? This isn't me...and yet I have taken a liking to the art of escaping myself because it seems to be fun...but the irony is that I end up losing my sense of humor if I don't take the time to reflect. So the world has not seemed loving to me lately, and maybe it's because I have been aloof from it as well. And then there are bookstores closing down in my neighborhood. And Egypt, Japan, and Libya have been stirring up emotions in the headlines. And last week I attended a literary women's conference in Long Beach, which was supposed to be inspiring, but I was seated next to a woman who seemed to be the embodiment of the word "negative"; her incessant critical chatter made it difficult to listen. All in all, I'm drifting at the margins of a magic-centric mind...and I want to coax myself back to center. This week, I battled doubt, jealousy, ego, inhibition, criticism, obsession, and my own seriousness. I forgot to be the fool and cursed my neighbors for smoking too much. I lost my sense of humor. The last couple of weeks overall have been marked by too much frenetic energy. And the one thing I've been pining for (secretly) is still taking its time to manifest. The fact is, I prefer to merge fact with fiction--because there in the hyphen between the two resides my reservoir of playfulness. The imagination, in the long run, has more to offer than fact: the restaurants serve lighter portions, and the vegetarians are harassed.

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