Thursday, July 6, 2023

My Own Critic

I love to write. I have ideas for content all day that float across my mind like clouds of inspiration in a blue sunny sky. They drift aimlessly in fluffy masses through my conscious, only to dissipate as another task calls for my attention. That's where I seem to be nowadays, mundane tasks sandwiched between fatigue and more fatigue. The hours turn into days and all my good intentions to create get lost in the shuffle.

I guess life coupled with chronic illness does that to a person. The demands often outweigh the abilities, but still we press on. I'd say I've adjusted, that I've accepted, but that would be a false claim, as much as I wish it weren't. I'm still adjusting and doing an okay job of it, but accepting is another animal, it's layered and complicated. My subconscious, conscious and emotions have to all align in order for true acceptance of this radically different reality that I presently find myself within. This takes time and can't be rushed. There are no jump aheads or shortcuts on the journey to acceptance. It's a total surrender of what could have been for what is, can and will be. I think removing the rose tinted glasses in these kinds of circumstances is a slow process for most. I am a steadily patient soul, carefully crafting, building, nurturing growth and progress in others, but fall short on lending myself that same kind of support. As much of a realist as I claim to be, my ability to view myself from any perspective other than one of a cynical critic with impossible standards is poor, at best. Acknowledgement of this is only a whisper of a solution in a mind that's been built to operate in this kind of fight or flight environment. While I *know* my ideas of what I can realistically achieve presently is skewed, I am unable to fully believe it. 

I am, as always, a work in progress. Every day presents itself with old and new challenges. My goal is to navigate them all in ways that foster growth, joy and purpose in whatever way I can, from wherever I happen to be. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Nostalgia of Ink and Paper

 I grew up loving the tactile feel of stationary. Journaling stationary, postcards, greeting cards, notebooks and more, all empty, awaiting the perfect moment when a person's imagination turns to a creation. What once was a private concept born of a mind's eye becomes a tangible expression of thought to share, communicate with others. All the empty pages ready to soak up the contents of one's mind.

It's a writer's curse and blessing to see such potential of these pages. The smell and feel of new, unused pages bound by spines and spirals feels fresh, elegant  but intimidating. The first words set a tone. They must match the energy this empty book deserves. Will the first scribbles miss the mark? What if they land flatly on the paper, forever staining it with subpar markings? Oh, the anxiety of new beginnings!

I still have quite a modest collection of stationary. I find that I utilize them in fewer and fewer creative ways and much more as daily doldrum type tasks. To do and shopping lists tend to fill the pages where my inner most thoughts used to go.

As I grew up, the bound pages turned to blank, stark white single papers twisted firmly into a typewriter. The keys were concave and slick. The letters struck the paper with force, imprinting it with neat, ink letters. Tick, click, tick, ring. It was also tactile , but in a different way.

That way of filling pages soon turned digital from there. The keyboard still made a clicking noise, but more subdued. The paper would be a blinking curser on a screen until I filled it with letters, no paper to be seen unless I decided to print my creation.

Now, the keyboard is a screen and there is no clicking to be heard. I miss the feeling of taking pen to paper, even if I do appreciate the ease and efficiency of digital writing. There was always a quiet beauty to stacks of filled journals or a recipe box of small note cards neatly written, ready to be flipped through.