Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Missing in action, trying to get back to words

I normally update this blog at least once a week. So it felt funny last week when Tuesday rolled by, then Friday, and I hadn't posted anything. I walked around with a vague sense that something was missing, there was something I hadn't taken care of—but I didn't have time to attend to it.

A convergence of events kept me from spending any guilt-free time gathering my thoughts. There was the inauguration and fun activities in D.C. leading up to it; family visiting; paid editing work coming in; volunteer work deadlines; and, on top of everything else, the school system offering first a four-day weekend (MLK Jr., and Inaugural Tuesday off) then a three-day-weekend through yesterday—which has turned into another four-day-weekend due to what is, so far this morning, a wimpy dusting of snow.

Often in my adult life I've been swept into a current of activity that keeps me from getting to my desk or laptop for more than a few rushed or exhausted moments. Sometimes the current sweeps me further down shore than I imagined I'd be and I have a hard time getting back to where I had been before, or remembering just what lines or dialogue or ideas I'd been conjuring in my head, burning to set down. Ideas not extinguished, exactly, but no longer the same.

Yet I wouldn't want to be out of the current, sitting on shore observing it all. I chose this life, I know, because I would suffer a deep loneliness if I weren't around people in daily, home-based circumstances. I want to be part of a tribe, however small, rather than merely writing about the tribe.

The biggest problem for me in not writing for a few days is not the lost dialogue or forgotten metaphor but the little bit of unease in starting to write again. I've been waiting this long to say something, so it'd better be good. The long silence, though, has left me a bit tongue-tied. The act of writing feels a little unnatural. I've snatched a few moments to type this up this morning before my family awakes (sleeping in late due to the snow). It's all I'll have today since I really should attend to the edits that are sitting in my Inbox and I'll surely need to entertain a child at some point.

I want this to say more, and I wish it had more craft in it, but at least I've said something now and the white box I type into on Blogger is now filled with words.

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