How long are you willing to wait?
For me? June 14th marked 10 years.
Postal Service on tour for the first time since 2003, when their one and only album, Give Up was released. I still remember where I was 10 years ago when I first discovered them; on the corner of Newbury Street and Mass. Ave, sporting a pair of vinyl headphones that blocked out a modicum of retail chatter as I stood transfixed at a listening station in the belly of Boston’s Virgin Megastore. It was there I heard Ben Gibbard’s soft, pleading voice loud and clear:
I remember the first time I encountered Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”. I was in 6th grade and Miss Clark had given us the poem to memorize. When I shared this news with my dad, he instantly perked up (let’s face it, elementary school homework doesn’t often elicit parental joy). But this time? Here was his favorite poem — something he could share with his daughter in the form of homework disguised as life lesson. He sat with me as I attempted to commit each line to memory, reciting the verses ad nauseam.
” I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Waking up to the dulcet tones of Soterios Johnson, my morning routine is always the same: listen to the news of the day and wait until he tells me the current temperature in Central Park, for only then will I get out of bed. From there I pad down the hall to the kitchen to make coffee before settling down in my office to write.
February 1, 2013. A day that centers around two New York historical figures — legendary mayor Ed Koch who died today and Grand Central Terminal celebrates its centennial.
Grand Central with all its opulence and grandeur. The turquoise fresco that draws your eyes up to the heavens where celestial bodies watch over passengers as they bustle through corridors to train platforms or out onto 42nd Street. When I lived in New York I was fortunate to work on 42nd Street and thanks to the 4/5/6 train, I could enter/exit Grand Central Terminal on a daily basis if I wanted but usually avoided due to the crush of people (opting instead of a small exit down on 42nd and 3rd). Just standing in the main concourse of Grand Central you can feel the electricity in your bones, the spirit of how train travel used to be (one could say the same of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station and part of Washington DC’s Union Station).
Dare I say, painful?
It physically hurts. And it’s lasted for more than a week.
I’m starting to get concerned.
Writer’s block that I can’t seem to overcome. I even attempted the trick where I start out writing about my writer’s block, which I’ve read can help. People seemingly stuck in their tracks find a way to write through the block, prose bursts forth and they’re writing a masterpiece. Ok, probably not a masterpiece but at least the start of a rough, really rough, 1st draft. But me? I keep asking questions: why is this happening? Why can’t I seem to break through? What type of writer am I? The questions are endless and with each new question the words seem farther away.
Yesterday I was at my wit’s end, and turned to writing in my journal. I figured if I couldn’t write a story at least I could write about how I felt about not being able to write. With each sentence my anxiety grew until I couldn’t stop writing—in capital letters. I was essentially yelling at myself in my journal. Who does this? With each swipe of the pen on paper, my frustration mounted until I just started scribbling on the page, essentially ripping it from the binding and then promptly burst into tears. Until there was nothing left.
But then? One breath, followed by another. I sat with my mangled Moleskine. I attempted to compose myself and gather my thoughts. I walked away from yesterday’s writing session with silence and a bit of clarity. I suppose sometimes you have to break down everything (barriers, preconceived notions, your mental state) in order to start from scratch and rebuild.
Every day my mouse hovers near the WordPress Dashboard link on my Bookmarks Bar and never once makes it to the “click” phase. With each passing day I felt a little guiltier like I’m neglecting an important writing outlet. After all, I write nearly every day: working on short stories, outlining new ideas, the occasional pitch. I am, dare I say, prolific? Yet a blog post is seemingly out of reach and I wonder how many other bloggers struggle with the start-stop-start of blogging?
Six weeks are enough of a lag time though and let’s face it, the type-A girl that I am would be mortified if you looked at my archives and noticed there was a month missing (see: March and July 2012, not to be repeated). In thinking about my first foray back to blogdom after an extended absence I couldn’t decide on a topic, so I figured a brief synopsis on five events that would have been separate blog posts had I got my act together:
About this time two Mondays ago my brightly lit world went dark.
Super Storm Sandy made her presence known and took away our lights, the Internet and the soft glow of our 42″ flat screen tv. Oh, and lest I forget the necessities: heat, access to money or gasoline and any semblance of fresh produce.
But we survived. We had water, a decent amount of non-perishable food items and candles. Make that oodles of candles (side note: one bag of 100 tea lights will last you 9 days without power and light up to 4 rooms/day. And you’ll still have some leftover to decorate the votive holders stashed around your house. You’re welcome).
Hurricane Sandy has since come and gone. In its wake? An entire coastline is destroyed and small towns are left trying to figure out the extent of the damage. Days are spent cleaning up the reminders of gale force winds that ripped large oaks from their perches, sent debris cascading through neighborhood streets, and toppled telephone and power lines like they were lined up dominoes.
And me? I sit and wait. No power, spotty cell phone reception that allows for the random text message in and out, not to mention the threat of the water contamination and looming shut-off (glad I housed that SIGG bottle of water earlier).