I’ve been feeling mostly blank all day. And the fact that the Posterous site was down for eight hours didn’t help matters any.
“Blank” in the sense that I feel I could be related to an auto-pilot system in an airplane, or a mannequin in a store window.
“Blank” in that I know I need to do certain things by a certain time or on a certain schedule, so I do them dutifully — the way someone who’s sleepwalking knows their way around a room…more or less.
“Blank” in the sense that from the moment I left my bed this morning, most of my emotion felt like it had already gone down the drain.
“Blank” in that I suppose I was in a good enough mood most of today, but not that anyone would’ve known. I felt expressionless, pulse-less, and I was hoping that with any ounce of energy I could muster, something would eventually kick in — the way you think, “This is amazing! I should’ve done this a long time ago,” when you start working out following a long hiatus. Or the way you hope a deeper, stronger faith will take hold if you make it a point to read from your book of devotions on a daily basis.
I wrote to a friend this morning about last night’s post and how it came so easily. I felt like I’d finally found my personal stash of writer’s gold…but clearly it was just something that had a golden sheen, like painted plastic or styrofoam with little bits of glitter stuck to it. Either way, it was a feeling and a discovery that made me think, “Oh, so this is what I’ve been looking for.”
I didn’t really know I was looking for something until I felt a sense of relief when my post was done. I knew what I wanted to write, I wrote, I didn’t self-edit and I didn’t bother to worry about what anyone else thought. It was a post that I didn’t overanalyze, and I was sure that I’d tapped into some part of me that would finally yield more raw, more honest and more personal stories.
Nope. At least not tonight.
And I knew better than to feel any sort of excitement, because when there are good days, there are bad. When there are peaks, inevitably there are valleys. I just didn’t think I’d stumble into a valley so soon. And it’s not even a valley with a little stream at the bottom. It’s all dried up. Nothing’s in it, not even pebbles or rocks. It, too, is blank.
They say the secret to writing is writing. I sat here for about 40 minutes tonight, staring at a blank email and knowing full well that I just needed to start typing something. Anything. For God’s sake, even a haiku.
Nothing came out. So I eventually told you I felt blank.
And then came some more words. They’re not anything special, but I can look up and see space that’s been filled. I can see a void that’s no more. I can see that I’ve made a little progress, even if it’s only a single baby step.
Tonight I am thankful for thoughts that find their way to a keyboard, and then end up on a screen. I am thankful for sentences that form paragraphs, and for mundane topics that eventually turn into blog posts. This isn’t award-winning journalism by any stretch — it’s merely another brick on the path of a year-long journey. I’m grateful that the path has been built consecutively for 352 days.