It is 1:35pm, and I just got the kids in their rooms for “nap”– in quotes because napping isn’t really happening these days. It ends up being the kids playing by themselves in their rooms for an hour or two while I have one blessed moment to myself. A lot of the time I end up lying down and trying to catch some shut-eye, knowing that at any moment my daughter may interrupt my attempts to rest with breaking news of her latest toilet accomplishments. And then there’s the ceaseless chatter issuing from her bedroom. Her stuffed animals have been very noisy lately. They have involved, often heated, conversations with each other, and they have little regard for my profound need to rest. I’ve stopped fighting. I don’t tell the stuffed animals to be quiet. I just let them have their conversations and try to sleep in spite of the noise.
I find myself typing here, trying to get my post of the day over with, so that I won’t have to worry about it later when I’m so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open. There is resistance in me to what I’m attempting to do here, and it’s strong, and loud, and intimidating. It pushes against me, tells me sleep is better than this baloney I’m smearing across the screen. It again says, “Why bother?”
Well, because I can. And, because I want to.
I talked yesterday about the anchor of procrastination and the inner critic monster that accompany me whenever I attempt to write, and how heavy they are. Today I have a different vision– of my creative self sobbing silently, sitting on the floor of a dungeon, back up against the cold stone wall, arms wrapped around knees, body curled in a little ball, head hung low. Creative self has been here a long time. It has nearly given up hope of ever seeing the light of day.
But lo, a candle flame appears at the end of the dank, dark hallway, and the someone carrying a candle is also carrying a key. Slow steps toward the prison door. Waiting, waiting. The face of the candle-bearer is cloaked in shadow–such a mystery–who has come to deliver this tired self from this awful place? The key turns softly in the lock, the door groans open on rusty hinges, a hand is extended to the prisoner who has waited so long.
Can my creative self get up and walk again, after so many moons of feeling bent and broken? At the moment of release, will the prison spring up again, so much bigger and deeper and darker than before? Trying to stand now, trying to take a step forward, learning to walk again, to leave this lonely place. Silently, the candle-bearer waits until the prisoner finds her legs and takes a few wobbly steps toward the door.
Many stair steps lead up to the light…each step takes great effort and the prisoner is feeling weak from hunger. She follows the candle flame, which appears dim and vulnerable in the encroaching blackness. One foot after the other, one by one by one…some day, some day I will be free.
Every time I show up to write a post, I reclaim a little bit more of the creative self that has been wasting away in my dungeon of procrastination, fear, and hopelessness. I may find myself back in the dungeon after a brief moment out in the fresh air, but even so, the next time I may not wait so long to summon the one with the key, whoever that someone is.
Hmmm, who is this candle-bearer, and who is the despot that imprisoned me?