I vacillate between staring at the blank page and updating my facebook cover photos, instead of being a writer. I tell myself that keeping my social media profile fresh is good for audience engagement, and I like the way the photos look together. “There is story in this too”, I tell myself. But, then I start reading a health article about the warning signs of a heart attack and then another about the Disneyland of colleges but I’m a healthy, slim, 37 year old woman who has no family history of heart disease and have had no problems with my heart before, and I don’t have plans to attend college nor do have children to consider sending to college.
I realize I’m procrastinating.
In the next 20 minutes, I’ll run out of battery on my laptop (hard to find an outlet on a beach lounge chair) and then I’ll have not written anything and I will justify it all somehow, but deep inside I will know that I had failed myself by not staying true to my commitment.
So, I started writing this because, this is something and sometimes you just need to write something. You just need to see those little letters marching from left to right on your screen in meticulously programmed straight lines like little ants carrying our little crumbs of food. The little letter crumbs are on their way to feed the story and you hope that one doesn’t get squashed along the way, but sometimes they have to.
But, you keep writing anyway.
“I should probably send my friend an email,” I tell myself.
I read a Rolling stone article instead.
But this is where the mind goes, this is what I am doing sitting on a bamboo lounge sofa, occasionally looking out into a churning sea, sitting under the muscular, knotted branches of a large, outstretched tree whose tiny twigs are falling around me reminding me that things are falling every day; leaves, twigs, snow, rain, dead skin, my thoughts, someone’s dreams, my own dreams. Sometimes they fall so softly you don’t notice anything until they pile up in puddles, stacks, a heap on the floor.
The only thing to do is sweep them away and carry on. Or the next thing to fall is you.
And, all this thinking in India. After 9 months away, I’ve returned, and I thought I’d get pulled right back into the vortex of inspiration that seemed to suck me in last year but now, I realize, I’m already jaded. Smoothed down by familiarity, my eyes have seen this already and it no longer feels new.
Which is not entirely true but the story is not unraveling before me in a wave of new sensations piercing my conscience.
The cow walking on the beach or shopping next to me feels as familiar as a stray dog would back home. The small scooters piled high with people holding people who might be holding house window frames and tearing along the street, whizz by me and I barely register a rolled eye. The constant harassment from shop keepers, the over inflated ‘western’ prices I am paying (knowing I’m being ripped off) and the chorus of “hello madam”, “good price for you madam” now feels like the equivalent of the absurd and obnoxious shit I experience everywhere I go.
So, what is there to write about? Where is the story?
Ironically, this is what I am here to teach. In three days I will lead my first yoga/writing retreat. I’m here to teach about what it is I can’t seem to do right now. Which is ironic since I’m here, aren’t I? Tapping away on my keyboard, a sound I could fall asleep to, unraveling my thoughts. Which is what this whole experience of writing is all about; 80% showing up they tell me, the rest is opening up to receive. Or, something like that.
Of course, I have to make it concise for the reader and there is a part of me that wants to say “Fuck the reader – let me put it out there as it comes out” but then, I know, one day I’ll be so removed from this divine spew that I’ll become the reader and I’ll be really annoyed with myself that I didn’t connect the pieces to make something beautiful. I’m just being lazy.
But, it is at the point of connection where it all stops and starts at once, where the hard edges find a smooth partner. It’s where a letter finds a word which finds a sentence. It where the story begins.
But, my computer battery is about to die.