15 June 2010

Beach Glass

For all that the waves roll in, it is so quiet here. You know that? I do. This silence, or vacuum or what-shall-we-call-it...neglect is too strong a word. It comes close, and I would find another word, but I'm tired and too lazy to get off the couch and get my thesaurus.

I have left this garden untended for what seems a long time. I see the link for it on my computer screen, but lately I have rarely felt the motivation to click on it. This is for a lot of reasons, foremost of which I have felt little in the way of needing to write.

It is true: I haven't felt like writing. This is a disturbing state of affairs, for me.

The flow of ideas has lessened a little, but is still there. I have not managed to put them to paper (or electrons). It is not writer's block, so much as a problem of mojo.

My mojo hath fled. It didn't storm out of the house, cursing and flipping me the bird, to drive off in a screech of tires and haze of dust. No, it faded away like a slow leak in the tires. I knew something was going on because I could hear that funny noise in my head, akin to the one that tires low on pressure make when driving at highway speeds. WahWahWahWahWah...My solution was to turn up the radio and keep driving, hoping nothing else would go wrong.

All of this came back to me this evening as I strolled through my new neighborhood. I had that "wellhowdidIgethere?" moment again. Past flowerbeds and streetlights and lawn furniture and mailboxes...I was overcome with lassitude. I would have said ennui, but I don't know if I was bored, exactly, as part of all this non-feeling.

Non-feeling. Not as in numb, but as in an absence of feeling. I was tired, under the weight of loneliness and anxiety, probably brought on by job-hunting activities which had absorbed my afternoon and early evening. There came a point where I decided on the walk as a self-defense measure. Unplug, disconnect, not think, just do.

It all came back to me in a rush as I returned home, and it was the fault of the mailbox. My mailbox is mounted on a post. The post, in turn is embedded in a large flower pot, more like a small barrel. As I paused at the gate, I looked over at the mailbox and it hit me that I have been in my new house for nearly two months...and I have not yet changed the name on the sides to mine.

I stood there in a daze, not outwardly seeming any different. Inside, however, I felt myself collapse a little, hollowed out by all the losses I have incurred in the past months. Job. Marriage. Friendship. Brother. Money. Money. Job (again). Peace of mind. I thought back to the resume and small portfolio I had sent out earlier, how much it took out of me to do it.

I never, ever thought I would be saying anything like what went through my head at that moment: I'm getting too old for this crap. And I am. Chronologically, most folks would say I am in mid-life, and would say that perhaps the best is yet to come. I hope so.

Standing there with my hand on the gate, feeling dizzy and tired, I knew it in my bones. I am getting too old for this crap. I lack the energy and naivete of my younger self, and reality has been too dynamic. The Year of the Tiger is taking the starch out of me, and subsequently taking the starch out of my writing. The Tiger is feasting on my mojo.

If life is a beach, as the slogan says, then I am glass tumbling in the surf. Pounded and abraded, never resting, I roll back and forth in the water. I can only hope that loving hands will pick me up and take me home, to be turned into art. If not a work of art, then at least placed in a sturdy bowl with the other beach glass, the iridescent fragments of a fractured life.


  1. This is a great post.

    Also, when I get in that unfeeling icky place, I make myself walk.

  2. I am, literally, getting too old for this crap, too. Not in the blogsphere, but literally ... taking care of my house, my gardens that are way overgrown, the cleaning, the way my house if filling up with people again. My son has moved home and not a lot of people know this yet, but my daughter will not be going back to school because she's having a baby and her boyfriend may be moving in with us. Oops! Did I just vent? Sorry! I wish I could just walk away from this house and get a teeny little place, just for me. Maybe near the beach. sigh.

  3. I had such a piece of glass as a child. I found it and took it home, as it was a beautiful azure color with rounded edges. Long I would stare at this blue thing, and imagine all the different things it could have once been, all the works of art it could have once contributed to.

    It was simple. A piece of glass. And yet, refined. It'd changed from all the other pieces of glass, because of it's surroundings. It'd weathered the beatings of the waves, the grating of the sands, and now it's edges were worn, it's gloss was gone, but it's subtle beauty remained, perhaps enhanced by it's new uniqueness.

    Maybe it didn't catch the average eye with a sparkle or a gleam, but those who took a moment to look would find much more than the others would ever consider possible.

  4. I understand what you are say and you said it beautifully.

    I walk on the beach all the time and I'll be watching for you piece of glass.


  5. even when you have nothing to say, you speak volumes IG, and I know you have been busy in other ways! It truly is the weight of dog day summer upon us all! I am the smooth grey pebble with the white stripe I found on a beach somewhere years ago. I put it in my suitcase and never take it out. Each time I pack, I see that pebble and I am reminded that I have been somewhere, and I am again packing to go somewhere else....so I am not dead, and that in itself is enough for a little smile!

  6. And yet this mojo-eating Tiger seems to have left something behind. You write about it with the ease of a crafsman...

  7. You've got far more mojo than I have, considering the year you've had. Mine has fled due to a current combination of sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion. If it turns out that my mojo is lurking around somewhere with yours, give it a boot in the posterior and send it flapping this way, would you? Ta muchly.

  8. I am right in that place with you. That "how did this end up being my life?" place.

    Maybe your writing has become wrapped up in the form of pictures. Now through the camera you are finding that same solace you used to get from writing. The writing will come back when you have something to say.

    But then again what do I know? I'm picking out a backpack so I can be a college student again. I'm skipping mid-life and going back to the beginning in hopes of maybe getting it right this time. Meh.

  9. Your title makes me think of this poem (took me a minute to find the book)

    Beach Glass by Amy Clampitt It's too long to write out here but you should look it up.

  10. Beautiful, for someone who's lost his mojo. You haven't lost it. You're just tired.
    It's not that we've lost the willingness, or desire, to see life the way we used to. We're just tired.

  11. You do sound tired. Worn down but not worn out. I don't know your blog very well but if you can write this well when you are in a difficult place, your good place writing must be Pulitzer material.

  12. Eventually, glass on the beach gets tumbled smooth and shiny.

  13. Your mojo seems to be fighting the Tiger, don't give up on it.

    It seems that when it rains it pours but, my dear Irish, sometimes we must just learn to dance in the rain knowing that this storm, too, shall pass. I'm sending some of my sunshiney thoughts your way ... maybe they'll warm up your mojo a bit.

  14. thinking of you. look for that pixie dust I tossed your way. just go. go outside and look up. and then feel it tingle as it lightly dusts across your face. :)

  15. An honest and moving post Irish.

    The whole theme idea of being broken to pieces before the mending has been the center of my last year too.

    You will come out on the other side and everything will fall into place. I truly believe this.

  16. Oh Steven- I hear what you are saying. My heart has been tumbling beside yours- trying to find my way.

    I hope that we land upon the beach smoother, and brighter- none the worse for the wear.

    (This post? Awesome. Methinks you are finding your way.)

  17. Some of the best writing is done when we're feeling gloomy. We encounter fewer blocks to what we want to say because we are in fact a little more in touch with ourselves in those gloomy days. The biggest life changes demand you take time to absorb them, take them out, feel all their curves and sharp edges.

    I hear you, Irish, in a HUGE way, since I'm feeling exactly the same things. I keep asking, how did I get here? Alone, new digs, no job, no relationship, no flippin' energy. Of course, I know that these are my choices. I've done little of what I set out to do in the past week. But I know it's temporary. I will get back in the saddle and make my life what I want it to be. As will you. Be good to yourself during these days of reflection and introspection. You'll find the answers you're looking for, I'm sure.

  18. If only we could give up doing things once we get too old for them. It's not like when you were a kid and transitioned from Tiny Tears to Penny Bright to Barbie and then set aside such childish things entirely. Instead, we have to keep playing games that have long since ceased to amuse us.

  19. (came over via JJ)

    i have to agree with technobabe, if this is you mojo-less, sugar...i'm coming back everyday! i think i'll hold on to the beach glass image for a few days as i ride out my own tidal surge. xoxo

  20. I understand this. I sometimes feel that I am too old for a lot of stuff. But then I have this curiosity to see how it all will go. And something will grab my attention to remind me that there is still the 20 year old spirit inside me. Beach glass is something I find quite a bit on my walks. I have a jar of it also. Wonderful writing here.

  21. Just browsing through and wasting some time today, this caught my eye because back in Cleveland, I would pick up beach glass when I'd walk along Lake Erie. Beach glass can be found (un)naturally only along certain types of water it seems - and due to Lake Erie's past, it seems to hold a fair bit of beautifully buffed glass.

    It seems you may be a bit on the other side of this, and I would be glad of it. I did not imagine to trip on such a poignant post purely out of my own old hobby.


"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...