September 17, 2012

Under the Harrow

Writing is hard today.

No grand piano fell out of my sky; no elephant showed up in my living room. It would be easier to write if something specific was present. Today it's simply low-grade depression, a sudden migraine (with nausea, light sensitivity and dizziness accompanying it), and an increased volume of my internal critic.

When you write, you live for the moments when passion burns hot, words tumble down through your fingers, and perfect phrasing leaps to mind. I am told 'tis best to write what we know. I also believe that when I am most incapable that I have to rely on something outside myself, on God, to accomplish things. Right now, I am beyond myself and outside my strength.

Writing often comes from a higher perspective or speaks of past experiences. Presented problems have an answer or purpose with a neat bow. Words are aimed to teach or share wisdom, not confess lack of any of these things.

And yet...

I trust most what has cost the most to produce. I identify as another person says the refining fire went several notches hotter than they wanted; I understand the fog someone else describes in tired tones. I value those words, that experience, more than a person's host of words on a shelf full of books.

We all have hard days. We all have grim moments when we concede it's a day of meeting less than 10% of your expectations for what you say, say you'll do, and do. Storm or sudden calm catches us unaware, our sails set for a different wind.

We fight by giving of our best, even when it feels like less than a better day's best. I felt the need to write from today's furnace, to share that today is hard. It's hard to avoid dreading tomorrow's tempering heat or halt questions of how long it will last this time around. It's grim to have no clear-cut questions, let alone answers to them. Making myself write despite it all was the only thin path I thought I could walk today. I write without knowing whether my fall will be heard or make a sound in the forest at all, but...

I needed to write from under the harrow, despite it being hard to write today.

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