Thursday, May 5, 2011

Irons in the fire: Looking forward, looking back... simultaneously?

     Like everyone else, I'm not getting any younger. My bones argue that they're older than everything else, but they haven't walked out on the job yet, so the argument of what's to blame for the pain rages on. A part of me sits back, unconcerned. Fully aware that this is all a natural part of the passage of ordinary time. I am not special.

      Furthermore, with my usual run of glorious luck (not), I somehow tend to dabble in things that end up going awry. It's not intentional, on my part, that they fail. I'm just an absent-minded person with a lot to juggle. None of it amounts to anything in the greater picture to anyone but the tiny circle involved, but it still bothers me. Alas, in that I am not special, either.

      My current conundrum involves Facebook, in part. Last week, I almost closed my account out completely. I didn't do it solely because of the nice people on my list. The ones who care about others, about their world in general. The ones who don't dance on a man's grave because he was a madman, but are quietly grateful for no loss of life on the part of soldiers who are paid far too little for a job that must be done and might very well cost them their life. The people who pass along links and solid news to others on the simple grounds that it helps someone in some way. The problem is that real people are all too rare. Petty drama almost soured me on the whole thing -- it was that bad.

      I have no time left in my life for petty drama. There's the problem. When it escalates, I'm gone. I've had enough of that in my lifetime to do me, thanks.

      All I can focus on now is home-life and work-life. If there is such a thing. Sometimes I wonder...

      Which brings me to a serious position in my wanderings... writing. I come from a family full of creative people, mostly in visual arts, and indeed I also paint and do photography sometimes, and other things as well, at will. (When I have time. Not lately. Er, that is, no visual art to speak of was done in the last couple of years. I rest my case.) Writing has become  pretty important to me, on several levels.

      For one thing, it seems that my 420 letters-and-spaces Facebook status messages have come to mean a lot to a large number of people. Not all of them regularly comment or even click the LIKE button, but they do read the things I post. That has become very clear. Some even call themselves fans! That part, I find amazing and rather shocking, to be honest. It was, like so many things I do a little off-kilter, a surprise, something  I failed to realize could happen. I am deeply both amazed and grateful to see so many people who care about cultural history, the natural world, and many of the things I also care about. (Thank you!)

      A little confusion comes in when someone assumes that because my postings seem somewhat poetic that I call myself a poet. I do not. Poets are ... well, something loftier than I aspire to being. Kings may fear poets, yet they would not fear me. I wouldn't want them to fear me, in fact; as I said, I dislike undue drama. The faintest thought of kings fearing such as I makes me laugh out loud. I dabble, yes, in lyric prose. Prose is not poetry, alas, and yet the line blurs. Hence the confusion -- mostly mine, I think.

      Worse, I've painted myself into an unenviable corner. I started a novel, for the third time in my life. It is stalled, for the third time in my life. I burned the other two to disk, then generally forgot about them deliberately until this one also fizzled and started sputtering out like a damp candle in a downpour. I suspect this one is going to do the same thing. I will say this: If you think writing a book is easy work, you are badly fooled, my friend, for it's one of the hardest jobs I have yet attempted. 

      Since I cannot, physically, hold a 'conventional' job, this is it for me. My last chance to 'work for a living' is on the skids. Fading fast. It's not even a hobby now, since I cannot attend various readings and things, nor read (nope) at them. It's just something to do to pass the time, more or less. The one thing I can keep, at least, is the inner peace... because that's what some forms of writing have come to be for me. A sort of bottoms-up venting, a wild card of self-reflection. It's soothing. Maybe not to the reader (I'm laughing here), though. Whatever...

      The sum total of this rambling blog entry is that, with an elderly mother who doesn't realize that when I'm staring out the window, I'm actually trying to 'work', and with a spouse whose work schedule is, at best, fragmented beyond belief, and with various physical problems, among others, I cannot find a focus nor a moment to spare. I am adrift in a sea of words, nary a paddle in sight.

      In the end, all I can say is "The voices in my head made me do it." And... sigh.