I’m not totally sure what I want to say today, just that I want to say something, or that it’s important to say something. It’s like this:
“I woke up this morning with that itchy feeling I get when I’ve gone too long without writing. I have a writer friend who once told me that she didn’t feel right if she wasn’t writing regularly, that she woke up each morning needing to write, and until very recently, I didn’t really believe her, because it never felt that straightforward to me. … I never felt that kind of imperative to be a writer – or, really, to be anything in particular. Writing sneaked up on me. But now that I’ve been at it for a while, I sometimes get a sense, just the faintest nudge of a sense, of what my friend might have meant. I’m best when I’m writing, even if I sit down at my desk without a thing to say, with only that itch to go on.” –Molly Wizenberg, orangette.blogspot.com
That’s where I am today, and most days. For me, a lot of the time, I feel like I’m picking through rubble, trying to get at the most important things, blue stones. To echo B.Wainana–“for me writing is all about creating larger circles of chaos, and rebuilding new, lucid structures from the possibilities the debris brings.”
So, this memory has rolled around in my head for a while:
When I was young, maybe 9, at my grandmother’s house in Lafayette, I saw an episode of Doug that totally freaked me out and kept me from sleeping on my stomach for at least a year. In the episode, as far as I can remember, a villain/doctor sneaks into Doug’s room at night and STICKS A NEEDLE IN HIS HEAD OKAY. Geez, why were kids’ shows so scary? Anyway, it was bad news; this was also at the beginning of a period of fairly intense anxiety for me that lasted for about a year. Thanks, Doug.
After seeing this episode, I walked into my grandmother’s living room, expansive and acadian. You had to step down to get to the living room, which made it feel important to me. My grandmother was there, practicing on the grand piano, wearing her reading glasses and probably something fairly ostentatious. (We used to play dress-up in her regular clothes, because they were so fanciful and cool.) Anyway, my dad’s mother was both elegant and absent-minded–but she seemed grounded to me at times, at least in the way she was able to comfort a child, or at least me.
So I remember totally freaking out about this episode and telling my grandmother and my grandmother finding this song to play for me, called something like “When God is a Child.” Isn’t that perfect? It was totally soothing, sitting next to her, as she played this song that she chose intentionally to calm my meltdown.
And I think about that moment and song from time to time, which is probably what she intended.