I had to take a break from writing. not because i was tired of it, but because it was distracting. i caught myself daydreaming about words and sentences I would use to describe a situation, thought or place, rather than just being in the moment. I knew this distracted state from another distracted state. Taking pictures. Angling for the right spot or waiting for the perfect moment means i either completely miss the moment, or just see it through a very small screen. And ultimately, I know these distracted states at all from my life as a mommy. Constant divided attention.
But this is a critical time for me to be paying attention. Whether its to my kids, my self, politics, my business or the traffic on the street in front of me, monumental things are happening on a daily basis. Its hard enough to make good decisions when i’m IN THE MOMENT, but when i’m caught up trying to re-create, re-package, or re-frame that very moment, i’m bound to cheat someone.
Potency has been a word I’ve been obsessed with for a few years now. And more than the word, i want it. i want potency. i admire it. i long for it. i love the way it feels when i have it. that feeling of utter effectiveness, delivered with grace and finesse. And so juggling, in my life, or in my mind makes me feel like a hose with a bunch of pin holes in it. I’m watering a bunch of seeds, but my full power is diminished. I’m growing a lot of things, but i’m not all that potent. And so i’m cutting things out. Less is more.
But the hardest thing about not writing is trust. Trust that the words will come again. Sometimes they zoom through me with such vigor and brilliance that I feel obligated, compelled even, to get them on paper. But if I don’t they are usually gone. If I wait until later in the day, its a painful jumbled mess of me trying to re-create the memory of the words that arrived so easily and flawlessly. Liz Gilbert speaks of this phenomenon in ‘Big Magic.’
“Ideas are driven by a single impulse; to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner… …When an idea thinks it has found somebody, say, you – who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention.”
What i love about this notion in her book is that it makes sense of something that happens to me all the time. Ideas fly in. Words appear. And they are like visitors. Sometimes live in visitors, sometimes passer-throughs and sometimes like family that just keep showing up over and over and over again.
What i don’t love about this notion is, according to Liz, if you don’t act on the ideas, they’ll move on to someone else. So, here in lies the anxiety. The very reason why its hard to TRUST that i can just be present to the moment. TRUST that if i’m meant to document it at some point, that the worthwhile words will visit another time. That i don’t need to save, store and make an attempt to harness the ideas that moves through me.
But i suspect, or i choose to believe, ideas might grow richer with a sprinkling of time. That stories and memories may dim in their exact recollection, but will marinade in a savory (or sweet) dressing that adds just the right amount of flavor for future story telling. .
And so i’ve been busy living alot of life – traveling to far flung places, having a spiritual awakening and spending a lot of time letting go of the writing that moves through me. One day, one day, i trust it will flow again when I have time to indulge my fingers at a keyboard. Potency is coming.