Monday, January 6, 2014

In which we are melancholy

It's wise to set expectations accurately--I am never going to hit 500 words tonight. There isn't a vestige of a shadow of an inkling of a semblance of what might be mistakenly considered hope of that this evening. I lean over and mention this to my wife and she tells me to "think positive," so I tell her "I'm positive I won't hit 500 words tonight."

Day 6, and the honeymoon is over for the 500 Word Challenge. I've consumed those few ideas that sustained me through signing up and breaking past inertia, and now it's supper time in Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

The holiday season is truly over (Merry Christmas by the way--it's twelfth night, the final day of Christmas, the day your true love presented twelve drummers drumming, no receipt). Work has resumed in earnest and the December backlog looms, a persistent creditor, the Pied Piper demanding his wages.

Now we see whether writing works into the daily grind; we begin to feel the little sacrifices throughout the day made necessary to squeeze in 500 words. Less time to read, less time for the daily amusements to which we've become accustomed. Each moment becomes a choice in a relentless series of choices, another opportunity to choose poorly. A raised consciousness can be exhausting.

But be positive. Here's an odd question for you--guess my blood type. Got one picked? Answer: "B-". Yes, "be negative." Fairly rare, I understand, which makes it seem that much more like destiny. Writers are prone to melancholy, yes? Is this a stereotype or has someone done the math on scribblers? In the grand scheme there is cause for nothing but joy, but still, always the little ache, the shadow, the love for rainy days, the cloistering snow, a steaming cup of coffee to bow into. We work harder on the day, don't we, keen attention on people, knowing that giving away even a morsel of kindness can pull a stranger from despair, tracing back in memory the morsels that have rescued us.

That would be a worthwhile exercise, logging a manifest of when another has reached down to us, extending uninvited a hand to help us regain our feet. But tonight? Not so very likely tonight.

Be negative. Which reminds me it is time again to make an appointment to donate blood--missed one due to the busy-ness of the holidays and that's another habit I need to make more consistent. A good and noble thing, donating blood. Giving away "B negative" can be positive, the draining of self to help another. That's syrupy, but behind it there's something workable, perhaps even profound for someone willing to stretch that out and develop the subtleties of how giving away your negatives can be a positive for others. Wait--actually, I read that blog a few days ago, and it was quite good.

I'm glad someone gave that concept the attention it deserved, because I haven't the energy tonight, not even 500 words.

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