• writers block •
I’m not convinced about writer’s block. Which may sound strange, when put like that.
I don’t believe in believe, as a believable means of conveying belief, or unbelief, any longer, either, as it happens.
Somebody expropriated that word, and turned it into a monster, a chameleon, a forger, a con man. But, what is the word? I am thinking of a word, but chameleon isn’t it. A ch word that means monster, or changeling, which, at present, I can’t think of. A real Dean Koontz word. A freak of nature. A slathering, self-loathing, many-fanged, hairy, smelly, murderous, hateful creature, a nameless one, that hurts everything it touches. It will come to me.
Does that happen to you? You know the word, but it is held back by that uncomely Librarian (how I love ’em) in your brain, who remembers you owe a ten-cent fine for a book you returned ‘late’, back in ’73?
Conundrum? No. Carbuncle? Nuh-uh. Though I do like that one. Putrescent. Oily. Juicy, thickly, darkly, explosive with disgusting potentiality.
What does it sound like? You ask yourself. Why does cabbage and sour kraut come to mind? No idea. Still, you feel it coming, the word. It’s sliding forward, relenting, self-revealing, or at least, leaning that way. It tickles. You can feel it.
Ki-mera! Of course, it’s not spelled that way, and so, you either, “look it up” (as if) in the dictionary, or you Google it.
1. (in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.
2. a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.
“the economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera”
synonyms: illusion, fantasy, delusion, dream, daydream, pipe dream, figment of the/one’s imagination, castle in the air, mirage
“is this great love of hers merely a chimera?”
But I digress. Belief is the word. It used to mean something wholesome, something real, something good, but now, it is the carbuncle on the chimera of society, for me.
Used to be, if Jeff Strom, a kid I knew in scouts, said he was born with six toes on each foot, you either believed, or you didn’t believe him, until he took off his shoes and socks. And then, your belief or unbelief became moot. You see? That was real.
Then, there was belief in honesty as the best policy, which turned out to be dependent upon circumstance, whether or not it would turn out to be. The best policy, that is. But that kind of use of the word, believe, was at least, honest.
But, this other thing: “Do you believe?” In, fill in the blank. Becomes something other, when the blank becomes attached at the hip to, “if not, then you will burn!” Or, “you can’t hang with us, you can’t be a member, you can’t live here, you can’t be a part of our family.”
I patently refuse to use that word, anymore. Too much associated with fears, and tears, and consequence.
So, now, I am convinced, or not, by a thing, which is subtler, and still has the ring of honest inquiry, and willingness to say what you see, rather than what is expected.
And still, I digress.
I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I am convinced by it. You see, for me, my lovely, that means it’s only temporary. And so, can’t really get a hold on me. In any case, I breathe better, just knowing this.
As to writer’s block, though, I have found a sure fire way of ridding myself of it, and it’s this:
Confess something so horrifying, in writing, that nothing that follows can possibly be worse. Something that makes you sweat. That makes you burn behind your ears, that makes your hair stand on end. That makes your heart pound, fight or flight time, for real. For me, it’s admissions of affection, that do the deal.
“Hey, Karin. Welcome back to the Big Apple. I’d like nothing more than to meet with you, but I’m four hours drive North, and I don’t get any days off, except Christmas.
And you know what? You might not believe this, but my memory of you is so distinctly clear, that I can remember trying to keep each other warm on the subway platform, walking with you on Jane Street, you filing my nails in your apartment, the photo shoot where the guy told me holding a cigarette was cliché, eating souvlaki at the diner at Astor Place, you holding your lips in a lovely “oooo”, when showing me how Germans say “sweet”…”suus!…suuuuuus…”, and on and on, not just as if it were yesterday, but as if it were still happening. And sweet and wonderful are my many recollections – so much so, that I never miss you, plus, the fact that you are so very happy and fulfilled makes me the happiest man ever. So, enjoy, my dear friend, and think of me, for a minute, and I shall be satisfied.”
“Heh, don’t get too creeped out. It’s not as if I sit around doing ‘sense memory’ all of the time, thinking of you. I’m just saying I can, and do, from time to time, of a time when I was truly happy, (and stupidly, didn’t realize). I only mentioned it because you are still real to me. I also know I never could have made you happy, so I celebrate your happiness in the life you have, which is an example and inspiration to me of what happiness looks like. I think we Americans sometimes have no clue. Heh. Still, I am satisfied that I have been perfectly happy, and so, now know what it feels like. I don’t need it all of the time, happiness, I mean, but it’s wonderful that I have known that, because I carry that good feeling with me through my life, and so, can be content, and focus on making those around me happy, as I am always full of good feeling.
Anyway, again, I hope I didn’t creep you out. I just wanted you to understand how enriched I have been from having known you, once upon a time, in New York City.
Welcome back, my friend. Have a wonderful time here with your lovely family. Take care.”
As a result, two things happened.
1. The dam’s burst, on my writer’s block. I am now free to write anything at all.
2. I never want to write again.
But, I digress.
~ Tim Burchfield