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So Many Stories

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Writer's block is an odd condition. It's not that I can't think of anything to write, it's that the voices in my head are a symphony of stories all clamoring for attention: "Write me. No, write me!" And so searching for the topic of an essay (or blog) feels much like flipping through the snowy television channels of the 1960s and 1970s...not much good to watch save reruns of black-and-white movies sponsored by cigarette and soup companies, cartoons featuring someone being blown up or abducted, or the news. Nothing of any substance. Then as I'm engaged in some otherwise routine activity like cleaning the cat box or taking out the trash, I get a flash of brilliance and vow to remember that golden nugget until I can wash my hands and boot my computer. It never works. That one shining neuron's light dims to dark before I even lift the lid on my laptop.

Many years ago, one of my favorite professors, Christopher Burnham, suggested that I just write. Write nonsense. Draw circles in my journal until the shapes became words and the words became stories. It actually works. I've also found that listening to music laced with binaural beats and alpha waves helps me focus. That chorus of voices in my head quiet to watch some mental rerun of the Twilight Zone leaving only one voice to dictate its story. Today's inspiration actually came from a FB post from someone I don't know, but I want to make sure Ehime gets the credit because it's what I needed to hear today.

My 70th birthday is in November. It's no wonder the constant chorus follows my waking thoughts, and my dreams as I never let them out and so they exist as memories which fester like splinters, each leaving a scar long after the initial prick and pain has faded.

Even now, I'm still learning lessons: don't take in every wounded bird I find. Be who I am even if that can be lonely at times. Write the hard stuff. And maybe, like drawing circles on a page until they become letters and then words, a story will emerge.

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