I tossed a pathetic little quip up on Facebook last night looking for homemade remedies for the times when one feels like a big loser. Chocolate, running, red wine, sleep, music, nature and even sex (I think) were amongst the suggestions. I love my friends. Love Facebook for the immediacy of hearing from people.
Ted posted three words, Stay the course. And that’s probably the winner suggestion so far. Because there’s really just nothing much else you can do. I’m drawing a mental picture of me eating chocolate and counting my blessings while taking a long run in a remote, tree-filled stretch and drinking red wine to some good tunes on my iPod (I’m not sure about running and having sex at the same time). And all of these things are good, but in the end, I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I want to write. It’s pretty simple really.
I started a post the other day describing how I feel like I’ve got my nose pressed up against the bookstore window and I’m looking in. I’m so close to all of those lovely, inviting books. So very close to all of that gorgeous writing. The luminous images, the profound dialogue, the ordinary constructed from fresh words and recorded on the page. And I’m standing outside in the cold, blowing rain with no umbrella. Nose pressed to the glass which I’m fogging up with my self-pitying breath because I haven’t figured out the money piece yet.
Notice that standing in front of the bookstore doesn’t actually entail direct involvement with pen and paper. All of this time spent listening to the voices telling me what a loser I am isn’t getting me any closer to writing my essays. So I’m flipping on the coffee machine to inject a little caffeine into these tired bones and getting to work.
Currently, I’m reviving my obsession with Virginia Woolf. Thinking of her slaying the Angel of the House by throwing an inkwell at her head. Woolf’s Angel is the demon that tells women to “Be sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own.”
Women have accomplished a lot in terms of freedom to speak and write their minds without fearing retribution. But I still feel the Angel fluttering by, whispering little sweet nothings about how I am nothing. I have dragged out Amalia’s inkwell, the heavy old-fashioned kind that she bought to go with her Harry Potter quill pen. It really does have a nice heft to it. Feels good in the hand. So no more fear, right? Slay the Angel daily.
Stay the course.