Saturday, July 31, 2010

Writer's Block?

I have not written much lately except for my weekly lists of "Awesome Things". These lists are really nothing more than a collection of daily musings I share with my co-workers. I struggle to come up with them sometimes but the discipline of writing them is good for me. In these days when I struggle to write anything at all I wonder how I wrote so much, so often, in the past. I think a big part of it was the daily discipline and commitment to do so. The people who read my reflections expected them everyday and would sometimes challenge me if they didn't receive them. These days I have no commitment to write so it appears that the discipline of writing has gone out the window. I also often use fatigue as an excuse. At this moment, however, it is Saturday morning and I am well rested. I have no excuse so I decided to sit here and try to write something. Outside my room workers are painting my kitchen and laundry room. My brother in law is also here working but I have no idea what he is doing. It is a beautiful day, hot, but not as brutal as most of the summer has been. The heat, however, will return next week with temperatures in the high 90's. I look forward to autumn and winter but fear that winter will be as brutal as this summer. Last winter was brutal by local standards. Why is writing so difficult these days? Why am I so unreflective? I think a lot of my writing in the past was fueled by unhappiness and restlessness. In some case my writing was a backhanded way of bitching about my circumstances. These days I seem to be experiencing a quiet, peaceful, and relatively simple life. I have no commitments beyond working for my daily bread. I try to read but I am not consuming books. I have reduced the amount of intellectual clutter entering my mind. I am "being" more than I am "doing". Any time spent away from work I consider practice for my eventual retirement. I am thinking fewer deep thoughts and enjoying more simple moments. Perhaps I am realizing more and more that I don't have to really meet other people's expectations and I don't have to live up to the image of myself that past writing may have created. In some ways, the older I get the more I am disappearing. I don't mean that in a negative way. I mean that I am letting go of many things. By letting go I may appear to be "disappearing" or less relevant as a person. Of course, I am not really disappearing and I am not irrelevant. I still make a difference and I know it. If anything I am more present than ever to my life and the world around me. A recent Zen article talked of living life without goals. I have always done this even when I didn't intend to do so. These days I am perfecting it. I seem to accomplish little but I am living life better. I am more present to the moment and I think I am more alive. There is great joy in living the simple life and being who you are. I think it is difficult or impossible to be who you are when you are young. As a man who will turn 60 on his next birthday, I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin even if it is, as my granddaughter says, "old skin".

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