22 October 2008

Writer's (Un)block (Boogie Chillen')

"One night I was layin' down,
I heard mama 'n papa talkin'
I heard papa tell mama, let that boy boogie-woogie,
It's in him, and it got to come out
And I felt so good.."
-'Boogie Chillen' by John Lee Hooker

It's in him, and it got to come out. Oh, lawd, that is my life in a nutshell! I feel like that all the damn time these days! I have a pretty big noggin (which my Dad used to claim was all bone) and it can hold a lot. But pressure builds up over time, and it has to go somewhere.

For me it is the page, the computer screen, my journal, Post-it pads, napkins, small bits of paper I find on the floor. The thoughts and ideas keep coming. I am struggling to keep up. So many things I want to say, or have wanted to say for YEARS now, with all of it coming into bloom at the same time. Writing is the only way I know to deal with it. I've been an architect for almost 20 years now, and I have come to realize it isn't want I meant to be doing. It is a good living, but I have been unsuccessful in expressing myself in that medium, and I wonder if it may be time to switch out. I'd love to sing or play guitar or drums, hell, even a penny whistle; problem is, I don't 'got game' musically speaking. Love the medium, almost zero talent.

Painting, sculpture: these haven't grabbed me in the same way. I have had this odd obsession with becoimg a ceramicist, lately. Sounds fun, don't think I can convince The Spouse to let me put a kiln in our basement. Photography haunts the edges of my consciousness. I haven't yet been patient enough to research a good camera yet. I might dive into that particular pond eventually.

Writing seems to be the ONE. It doesn't take a lot of equipment. It is easy to get started, although very hard to master. I can try out myriad ideas in a short space of time, I don't have to wait for my supervisors to approve it, I can edit and redact and shape to my hearts' content. I can do a lot of this in the funky playground cave that is my brain. I can dredge up all the awfulness I care to chew on, I can relive my moments of glory. It is like being able to juggle fire without the permanent burns.

Most of all I like the way it makes me feel, which is GOOD, mostly. I started a journal 5 years ago, on the advice of a wise NICU nurse (Bless you Cris!), and by the time I started to feel self-conscious about it I found I couldn't stop writing in it. Sure, there is a lot of crap, a lot of self-pitying whines and general nastiness. But there is also poetry, history recorded in the moment, a catalogue of all the beautiful people and amazing events that impressed me enough in some way to write it down. I truly believe that writing is one of the most meaningful things I will ever do. It's that important. Find your voice, my writer friend Rich told me, you have to find your voice. I believe I will, and I hope friends and loved ones will be there when I do.

It's in me, and 'it got to come out'!

1 comment:

"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...