18 March 2010

A Case of the Vapors

I write this on a Friday night, slowly decompressing whilst sitting on the couch. A long week of tired, my Wee Lass is in bed and I am soon to follow. I'm in a bit of a brown study, to go a bit old school. Old school, like 14th Century type old school.

Physical fatigue plays a part, surely, in this flirtation with melancholy. Being tired increases the degree of difficulty in keeping a stiff upper lip, the lights on, a smile on the face. Sometimes, I'm just too tired to try. Mental fatigue is a whole other matter, and that is what has me sitting still and quiet and just letting the mind breathe without trying to digest.

The trigger event occurred on the ride home from work. I was intent on picking up my daughter from school, and traffic was moderate, so I was focused without being blindered. Somewhere around the halfway point, I was seized by this thought:

I forgot at least three story ideas today. Three. I swore I would remember them, they seemed so clear and bright, there was no way...but I did forget.

This after telling myself for the umpteenth time that I didn't need to write them down because they were so strong and vivid. Pffft. Like Balzac supposedly said after having sex "There goes another novel", I allowed the distractions and demands of the World In My Face to displace a few notions of mine. Except I did not have the precious luxury of sex, it was the daily grind of work. Fatigue and reality, a hurricane in the head...

This happens to me a lot. I have a phrase pop up in my mind, or I see or hear something inspiring and I tell myself it would make a good story or essay and I'll write about it when I get home, this is going to be great! 

Fail. Fail. Fail.

It irritates me to no end, that even with multiple notebooks stashed in my briefcase, my car, my nightstand, that I am frequently too lazy to simply put a few words down for reminding myself later. I even carry a pen in my shirt pocket most of the day, and have one at hand when I am home.

So the net result is, I end up writing stuff like this. Because I cannot fight the push to write that balloons in my head, every day all day on occasion. I must. I have to write...I wish they could all be diamonds, but sometimes they are only coal.


  1. All of us go through such times when we are so tired, that we see everything around us in a negative light...it's ok you will soon feel better and remember that what is coal for you could be diamonds for another.
    Did that sound like I was preaching?'gasp'

  2. Ted Williams got to the Hall of fame with a .405 batting average. I figure if I bat .500, I'm destined for the HOF!

  3. the ideas are still in there, they didn't evaporate and drip out your nose. They will come back, if you don't beat them up.....don't put so much pressure on yourself or the ideas...besides, even when you have nothing to say, you are eloquent beyond measure

    that said, isn't there an app for that? a voice recorder on your phone? or call yourself and leave a message on the machine...who needs paper!!!

  4. Hey ... do you have an Ipod nano? those things have a handy dandy voice recorder for short messages! Alas ... I suppose you wouldn't pull that out of your pocket though, right? tsk tsk tsk!!!

    Luckily ... we dig ya anyway!


  5. Isn't it interesting that sometimes a good waking thought fades just like a good dream while sleeping?
    Hang in there.

  6. I once jotted the lines of a killer poem on my arm for lack of paper while out. Later that night when I showered without thinking, I remember watching the foamy bubbles slip down the drain and thinking, "Aw damn. I've lost my mind down the pipe..."

    I'm not sure I've found it yet.

  7. I send myself emails from my blackberry. I've even been know to go and write five pages on the thing when I'm stuck somewhere and I don't have pen and paper.

    I will also use receipts I find in the car and lollipop wrappers when necessary.

  8. I've done this many times myself. I've taken to jotting things down in my cell phone. I call it "Planning for my own incompetency"

  9. Diamonds are pretty, but a lump of coal will keep you warm. I think that was Confucius.

  10. That's okay. Sometimes it is good to just be coal because diamonds are created under a lot of pressure. Who needs that all the time?

  11. I have stickys everywhere Irish and my phone gets hammered with small unreadable notes everyday.
    I don't always use them though!

  12. If your ideas are like my ideas, they will pop back up, just when you are on the verge of falling into a deep sleep. If you are like me, you will get up and write them down, then lie there for hours waiting for that sleep again.
    They are all lumps of coal until you put them out there for everyone to see, which polishes them into sparkly shiny things.



"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...