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Drought

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“When we are in drought, what we are missing is joy. We miss the joy of creativity… ‘Oh look’ we think dully, ‘a beautiful rose. So what?’ It is the ‘so what?” aspect that makes a drought so debilitating. It makes any attempts to cheer us up fall flat… The good, the beautiful, the joyous cannot touch our grief-hardened hearts… We are caught by the throat with sorrow over what we are missing in the world and in ourselves.” ~ Julia Cameron, “The Sound of Paper”

Ah yes, drought… I’m happy to simply be able to write down someone else’s words. Reading has been difficult too — books, blogs, email, Facebook, Twitter, newspapers, magazines — oh, so many words out there. I feel like I’m drowning in them, so perhaps subconsciously, I’ve been driven to dryness.

I survived February. But this papery-thinness is how it left me.

“‘Try just a little,’ we must offer ourselves, as though we were spooning in chicken soup.” ~ Julia Cameron

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I’m doing the most basic of journaling. I couldn’t manage a blog post, which is normally so easy for me. Everything I write sounds stupid, self pitying, whiny and flat. So instead you get this journal entry that sounds stupid, self pitying, whiny and flat.

“We are the unenchanted ones. Even when beauty passes by, it leaves us unmoved.” ~ Julia Cameron

How can this be? I wrote about beautiful things only a few weeks ago! I’m sure of it! If I write this now, if things change so drastically — up and down — what does that say about me? Am I so ungrounded that  a windy day tosses me around like a plastic bag racing across a Walmart parking lot?

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I’m blaming all of this on neck and shoulder pain, which sounds so lame. But I can hardly stand to sit in the manner required for writing and reading. Even more irritating is that I have to withstand the same pain at work, but I can’t take any more of it when I get home. Home is for healing…

Have you ever tried holding books, computers and phones up so you don’t have to look down? Which means that arm and wrist pain joins the jamboree of the other symbol crashing hurts.

I know. There are worse things… And yet I feel like I’ve been robbed.

“We would move, we would be interested, but we cannot — just now — and our fears, whisper that we will never be quickened by beauty and passion again.” ~ Julia Cameron

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Cameron writes of gently coaxing ourselves into remembering our creative loves. Only it seems that I’m trying and failing because everything I write sounds like dry leaves squeezed in my closed palm.

Melodrama… thank god I never lose that talent.

Julia does say that maybe we just need to complain for awhile to a friend or write a fist-shaking letter to God about how He continually giveth and then taketh away…

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Perhaps I just need time to rest. If I love and miss writing so much, it will return.

Yet people I love have left and never returned. Granted, many of them died and it would be tough to return from that. And honestly, I’m not up for any ghostly encounters.

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Fortunately, the weather has turned — longer days, more sun, more warmth. And I was able to get outside and play and watch my dogs play. Wednesday I’ll write more about what may have been my last snow ride and my future plans for bike touring.

In the meantime, I’ll keep writing down what other people have written about these periods of time when…

“There is nothing to be done but go ahead with life moment by moment and hour by hour — put out birdseed, tidy the rooms, try to create order and peace around me even if I cannot achieve it inside me… here in my study the sunlight is that autumn white, so clear, it calls for an inward act to match it… clarify, clarify.” ~ May Sarton, “Journal of Solitude”

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4 Comments

  1. I became way less crabby about this type of thing when i accepted that, for me, creative energy runs in cycles. Now I compare it to surfing. It doesn’t make me like *the beach* where I am forced to rest, and reconnect with people even though I often don’t feel like it, but it makes me understand I need this on some level. And my dislike of idleness will always have me paddling hard back out to the breakline as soon as I am able, where I’ll catch the next wave, and ride it as far and long as i can. Then it all repeats. No biggie. Does this idea help?

    1. Thanks Sue. It’s true that this cycle repeats itself and probably always will. Best to simply go with it and let the energy come back on its own.

  2. You know, every year I tell myself that I won’t let February get to me, that I will fight back and get things done and on and on… and every year, February gets me.
    I’m thinking next year I’m just going to plan for a month of nothing, of darkness, of silence. Because that’s February.

    I hope your pain eases up soon, that makes everything so much harder. And here’s hoping that Spring comes a little bit early this year! xoxo

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