Me: Off

by beccaborrelli

Sabrina Ward Harrison

Sabrina Ward Harrison

To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert: “I’m like a work horse when I write… I chug, and sweat, and curse…”

Which is pretty close to my experience. I’m hardly a ballerina. More like a water buffalo. Ideas are typed within an hour… and four hours later up it goes… pieces and parts conglomerated, patched, deleted, and re-spelled in a process comparable to child birth of the brain.

Last night I spent 4 hours listening to rain, and punching keys. I was excited about an idea that struck while serving tables during the day. I desperately wish to know if other people experience ideas this way. Like… poof… there’s the idea just as I refill empty water glasses. I imagine it would give me comfort if this happens to others. Not academia people, rather construction workers and McDonald’s drive-through attendants… the people I suspect have musings about world peace while pouring concrete and bagging french fries. At the very least, it would grant me a little more faith in humanity when I’m in passing a flat screen CNN rant at the gym.

But often if I’m too invested, the idea becomes more important than the delivery. And try as I might… I could not delete the pomp and aristocracy out of last night’s post. I sounded like a know-it-all… a CNN know-it-all. I deleted it around 3 am.

I woke up 5 hours later in a state of “bleh mixed with melancholy.” I trudged through the kitchen and began unloading dishes to put in neat piles. Doing dishes is a dreadful task that will suck up precious hours of “real living” once a day for the rest of my time on earth. Yet I begrudgingly admit menial tasks help calm cement trucks in my cerebral cortex… so I pressed forward with squinty eyes half asleep. Between stacking the bowls down came a poof“Sit here and write about it.”

Really? Could you be a little more specific? There was no idea. No matriculation of concepts. Just a nagging. So I made some cocoa jasmine tea, and this is what came out. Is it profound? Nah. But maybe a tink more genuine. I wish I could describe the feeling of making something with “me turned off.” I always end up sounding like a New Age Motivational Speaker with nothing tangible to offer:

“Just do it from you SOUL. Live for the LOVE…”

I’m supposing that it’s for each to experience in their own time… rather than read a self-help book about. Or a teacher’s blog for that matter. I’m not good at waiting for wisdom to pull into my driveway. I keep hoping if I act wise I will “become as such.” Acting wise is tiring. I’m young, I say silly things, and I want some freaking permission. I imagine my own students want permission… god forbid I give it them… they might think it’s actually O.K. to fuck up.

I suspect I’m supposed to learn something profound from all of this… but wise Brazen checked out at 3 am last night… and really all I want right now is a shower.