Today, the day that I have publicly proclaimed as the first official day of my life as a writer, I do not want to write.
I don’t mean that I cannot think of anything to write about. I don’t mean that I have writer’s block. I don’t even mean that I can’t get exactly what I feel onto the page and that it is frustrating. I have felt all of those things before at one time or another. Today, all I feel is resistance. My jaw is set against it. Yeah, I can feel my jaw tight and determined.
The logical part of my brain is pleading. I can feel that as well.
“It doesn’t have to be good!”
“It doesn’t have to change anyone’s life!”
“It doesn’t even have to be anything about Haiti, Nepal or the fact that you are blowing your life wide open!”
“Just get something down.”
But it is almost noon and I have cleaned the kitchen, finished some financial stuff that has been hanging over my head, I have made appointments and filled in more of my to do list. And all this was done with an undeniable air of defiance.
I am not your monkey.
And I don’t even know with whom I am fighting. Whose monkey am I not being exactly? There is no outside pressure on me to perform. I have no deadline pressures. I have no authority figure over me.
I am too new at this to know what to do with myself when I am actively and aggressively resisting something I want to do. How does one talk themselves down? And, seriously, what am I to do with the insolent child of myself, pouting with her ball in her arms, threatening to take it home?
Three nights ago I laid down on the ground and watched the lightening light up the clouds above me. I have been wishing for storms lately. Not rain. Storms. The kind of weather that puts everyone on edge. Big crashes of thunder. Electricity lighting up a dark, wet sky. Wind that howls until it matches the wildest pain you have ever felt. Heavy drops of rain that almost sound like hail as they fall on your roof, your grill, the leaves on the trees.
There was no storm that night.
The ground was not even wet that I lay on, though we enjoyed a respectable little downpour not five miles away at dinner. I laid down in the grass and wondered how much time goes between me feeling the ground on some part of my skin. Between shoes, floors and concrete…how much do I really feel of the ground?
Looking up into the gentle show of the sky, I remembered a time sitting on the front porch with my Grandfather in Florida. He loved the weather and was mesmerized at how, from the vantage point of his front porch, he could watch the electrical storms cross the sky in the distance. I felt it too. It was so beautiful and intense.
So, I let my thoughts go to him completely. It’s funny how you can miss someone more as you grow older. There are parts of him I understand more now that I could have possibly understood then. And many more parts that I am sad I missed knowing as an adult. He died when I was in high school. I thought about that too.
I realize I don’t really know what he was like. I am piecing together the impressions of a child and guessing what that means. I could ask, I know. But no one could possibly tell me what I would have noticed about him as an adult. Only I could know that…if I had the luxury of knowing. But tonight I allowed myself the space to guess.
And tonight I am thinking about him again. Sitting in our new house I am thinking I would so love to call him up on the phone and celebrate the storm bearing down on us. If I could find the whiskey in this mess of boxes, I would break it out and raise a glass to a real mess of a storm…and to my grandfather, who taught me to love the drama of big skies and wild weather.