Sunday, April 03, 2005

Much ado about nothing

It has been one of those days when I've been far too content to do nothing. At most, I did very little. I went for a walk, managed to get clean sheets on the bed, emptied the trash, and that is about the extent of my activities for the day. I did not even get up for church this morning. In part because I forgot to set my clock ahead, but mostly, I just did not feel like dragging my bedonkey out of bed in order to go.

I briefly considered taking up smoking again today, but even that seemed to require an awful lot of effort.

And yet I have a tremendous amount of energy today. I do not feel tired or groggy. Just not focused. There were a great many things I wanted to do today, and fully intended to do, but they just required too much concentration.

Once upon a time, when I would feel like this, I would sit at my typewriter and just write. Short stories, mostly, but an occassional poem as well. I would write for hours at a time, keeping a hot cup of coffee close at hand as my sole companion during those hours. I was often fairly pleased with what I ended up with, and a few edits later, I would share it with whomever I considered worthy at the time. I have only a few of those stories in my possession now. I can remember working feverishly on specific stories, but after moving here and there since the writing of them, they've gotten lost in the shuffle, and I cannot find them anywhere. I feel like part of me is missing.

I wish I could recapture the energy of that time of my life. Creativity seemed to be my life's breath. It was as essential to me to paint and write as it was to breathe and have nourishment. Now days, I seem to be all too content to be living within the box of work and the day to day grind, making little time for such things as painting and writing anything creative (as opposed to writing letters and resumes at work). In fact, last fall, I bought an easel, and I have yet to even open it. I also bought new canvases, paints, brushes, etc...and have not used any of them.

I think tomorrow, or perhaps even later tonight, I will begin breaking those things in.

What I miss more than painting, though, is writing. I do not know what I need to tap into in order to feel that feverish need to write that is so strong, I can't help doing it. God knows, I'm still weird enough to be considered a "writer" I haven't put pen to paper outside of journaling in a very long time.

I think part of it the materials I have available to me now. As much as I love my computer, it just cannot compete with the rat-tat-tat of the typewriter as you are putting your thoughts on paper. I did see a manual typewriter in a catalog, and came oh so close to buying it, but I could not justify spending $180 on it. A computer just does not have the same feel. A copy of your work printed on paper does not feel the same in your hands as a typed sheet of paper from your tried and true typewriter. The typed paper has a thin, worn, frenzied feel to it that you just cannot achieve with computer paper.

I especially love onion skin paper. You know, the thin air mail paper. I love the crinkling sound as you're holding it in your hands, reading the words somebody took the time to put there. It makes me think of love letters sent back and forth great distances during times of war, a letter long waited for saying, "I'm here, I'm alive, you're in my heart." Onion skin paper, with its sounds and significance, conjures up images of a time when we did not have the convenience of the internet and cell phones, express mail, or video conferencing. All that existed was the written word, and it traveled by planes, ships, rails, and mail trucks to finally reach the hands of the one it was intended for, and could carry with it the most joyful exhilerations or the deepest heartaches.

Letter writing is indeed a lost art. I used to write many, many letters when I first left Bible college. Many of my friends were able to go back to the college the following semester, and due to a shortage of funds, I was not. So, I would spend time in various stores, finding the perfect stationary, cards, pens, etc...and write letters to my dear friends that I was with in spirit, but was not able to be with that semester. That was years ago, and I rarely write any real letters anymore. (work letters don't count) Even my best friend in Illinois rarely receives a "snail mail" letter from me, and I fully realize how pathetic that is. But, so it goes with most people now, I think. It is a rare thing for people to take time to write real, handwritten letters anymore.

I think I will try to write some letters tonight, too. My mind is too busy for sleep, and my body does not yet feel like it needs it.

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