I watched a beautifully isolated sunset tonight, shimmering a coppery gold and an infinitely indefinable red, through the last of the lingering storm clouds responsible for the most recent spring rains before it dissipated gradually into the depths of a far-off Midwestern horizon. I sat alone on that grassy little hill overlooking the wistfully fickle creek that runs comfortingly by my small blue house and simply stole the time out of my day to just stop and watch the sky.
It took a bit to try and ignore the mechanical sounds of the humming traffic, busy running their post rush hour pulse through the asphalt and concert arteries that help sustain the life and rhythm here in the City of Wayne. But I finally surrendered myself to the moment and simply decided to take this little locked down flyover town as it came to me. And for the briefest of moments, the world felt almost normal.
The creek is running a bit high from the recent influx of the last April showers, but not worryingly so. The geese (or as I am often known to call them, Canadian Chickens) have had their babies, the ragged gaggle of goslings still sporting a tenderly bright yellow, not having been in the world long enough yet to molt darkly adolescent.
Momma goose was a bit annoyed at my suddenly unexpected presence and puffed herself up in comically threatening fashion, inadvertently causing the jumbled little babies to come tumbling out from the warmth and safety of her underwings. Papa gander stood watchfully between us, hissing and bobbing his long, curved neck in a not so thinly veiled threat to my well-being if I dared approach his feathered family any closer. Not that I would have ever considered interfering in their nesting grounds. History has proven that I am capable of holding my own in a run of the gin-mill bar fight, but I am utterly convinced that an angered goose would undoubtedly kick my ass in embarrassingly honking fashion.
As I sat, on constant guard for a possibly unprovoked surprise goose bite attack, I couldn’t help but to wonder where my words would take me later in the night, long after the sun had surrendered west and the adulting expectations for the day had been somewhat responsibly completed. That time of night when I am again facing down more sleepless hours spent staring at my typewriter.
It was then that I remembered the recent concerned murmurs about my latest postings, admittedly so dark and unfiltered in their nature. And while I can certainly understand why some might be worried as to the current state of my mental collapse, especially given some of the things I have written, I truly did not mean to add unnecessarily to the heavy burdens that everyone labors under inside of their own quarantined lives. Everyone is feeling it, I’m sure, here on this 47th day of locked down constriction. And my situation is nothing special or unique. It’s just that I happen to be a bit wordy about it all.
Perhaps my mistake was in not finding a better way of explaining my motivations at the very outset of all of this, thereby affording the handful of readers a better framework upon which to understand my ramblings. That is an unintentionally hurtful oversight on my part which I will now try my best to rectify properly.
I write the words so that I can get them out of my already overcrowded and sleep deprived head. If the fickle muse cooperates, and I happen upon the right combination of inspiring music, then I am able to write myself into a momentarily cathartic state, when my thoughts and emotions are safely captured onto the confines of a once blank page and I am no longer burdened with the weight of carrying them around inside of me.
The time spent productively in front of a once abandoned revitalized antique provides me that emotional release, so desperately needed during these many dark, pandemic-filled days and nights. It gives me the masked breathing room to make it just one day more. And most nights, that seems to be enough.
Occasionally, when I am able to truly capture what it is that I am so desperately attempting to expel, I feel almost at peace with things, an all too rare moment of serene literary bliss. And I can tell you from personal experience that there is no more potent drug in this world than that, no more elusive dragon to dedicate your life to chasing down, addictively.
Even when it hurts. Even when it rips your emotional heart into tattered shreds of nostalgic remembrance all for the sake of the next cleverly phrased paragraph. Or sentence. Or sometimes, even just the next word. Even when you are so exhausted and your swimming head hurts and throbs from all the little helpers selfishly consumed just to keep the keys moving ever forward on the page.
At the end of all of that struggle, if I am lucky enough to have been productive, then the light of the next day dawning will creep across the pages captured the night before, highlighting the many bloody battlefields of my literary soul. If someone can eventually read those words, those ugly and raw bastardized children of my creation, and find something meaningful, or perhaps even a tiny bit relatable, then that somehow makes the many hours of sacrifice worthwhile.
I know all too well that things always appear the darkest right before the dawn, a cliché for which I can personally vouch based upon too many years of first hand insomniatic experience. I would like everyone to know that I’ll be hanging around indefinitely to see what new events await me in the dawning of that new day. I know that my story remains unfinished and despite the impressions my recent words may have accidentally provided, I am doing my very best to just keep on keeping on.
And, as a writer, I will always be a sucker for that happy ending. Especially when it is my own.