I realize that that is a strange thing to write, especially as I am in the midst of composing another long overdue blog post. But as I struggle to organize the overflow of words and images jostling for space in my mind in to some coherent form before translating them to keyboard for your consumption, that same simple truth occurred to me over and over again.
Like a lot of people, I have a "day job": a day to day job that allows me to pay rent and bills while I pursue my art, as it were, in my free time. Unfortunately, free time has been at a premium lately. My last job left me emotionally and psychologically exhausted at the end of the day. My current job exacts a very physical toll, that while it's good to work hard enough to be physically tired at the end of the day, coming home so wiped out that I only have enough energy to eat, check in on the kids, then crash, hasn't left time for much creative expression either.
And, too, like other creatives, I have that internal struggle with doing what I know has to be done, weighted against doing what I actually want to do. If I were to visualize the struggle between my creative side and my pragmatic, practical side, I would say that my creative side is a bright pink fairy, with mauve gossamer wings and a bright sparkling wand, tiara, and shoes, dancing lightly on my right shoulder (I am right-handed, so I guess that's why she is there) reminding me that I have this gift of being able to get words on paper in such a way that people can understand and relate to them, and I shouldn't NOT use it. On my left, in a plain beige suit and sensible shoes, is my business oriented self, sitting patiently (most of the time), telling me that while it is wonderful to have creative goals, I am still supporting two people other than myself, and even if that were not the case, rent does not pay itself, and the practical matters will ALWAYS need to be handled before anything else. The analyst in me knows that this is true. The vast majority of the world moves in a specific rhythm: We are born, we go to school, some of us get degrees, but most of us get jobs in some form or another, and join "adult" society in working and paying bills, with occasional stops at light recreation, relationships, and if we get really lucky, maybe a real adventure or two, just to give us a few good stories to tell around the table. This isn't good or bad, mind you. And for most people this is both expected and satisfactory; familiar music played at a pace they can understand and join in easily.
The beat for those that feel a creative pull is a jazz composition with sudden switches and breaks. First slow and steady, then suddenly speeding up to heart stopping levels, before suddenly moving into a mid tempo to let you catch your breath. You have a story to tell, and image to convey, an emotion that is begging for some way to tell someone else that they are not completely alone in what they are going through. And most creatives will feel a strong pull to answer that call to expression. To suppress the creative desire is eventually to kill it, either through neglect, or through the constant subjugation of have-to's, and need-to's. Which is how so many leave us without composing that poem or piece of music that had always been inside them, but they never got around to getting down on paper. Too busy, and dreams are for young people, and you know how things get....
I miss writing. It is my way of talking to the wider world about the life we all go through together. Things I think of as the mundane details of an ordinary life might mean a nice break in a stressful day of someone who might just need to feel less isolated. In some ways, my writing might also be a kind of therapy, writing out my thoughts on a fast changing world, both close to me, and on a macro level. The ability to express myself clearly on paper was a gift given to me, and it would be a sin, and a shame to not use it in the spirit, or for the reason, it was given.
I will get back to writing regularly again. Even if I have to put it on my calendar and prop my eyelids open to do it. I don't want to let my song go unheard, as it were, in the service of practicality. Even at what is thought of as the old age of 45, there is still a story or two left in me that I think worth telling, and it is completely up to me to make sure that they get told.
There is also the small matter of the novel I keep promising my kids that I am going to write. Even if it is just to prove that it is possible to start, and finish, a passion project. I still have a lot to write about. I just have to start, again.