Over the last year, I’ve wrestled with two demons when it comes to writing.
The first was the fear of going off topic, for fear of being disingenuous in how I was presenting my topics and thoughts. I realized at some point that the topic wasn’t nearly and important as the passion behind the writing, and that issue more or less solved itself. I mean, it’s not exactly difficult to create blogs to cover additional topics if that ever actually became a problem, so why worry about it? The important thing to do was to write, and to write with passion. Everything else, with one notable exception, would figure itself out.
That notable exception was the average taken between my heart and mind.
If the presence of memes, throw away visual gags, and groan-worthy puns didn’t clue people in, humor is my favorite linguistic tool. It’s how I recenter and refocus, perhaps how I even mentally endure at time. I try to keep myself laughing because, in part, I know what it’s like to have nothing left to laugh at. I’ve known my own lows and sadness with intimate familiarity…and I’ve seen friends and loved ones down at lower levels then I have ever know.
If you have even an ounce of empathy, witnessing such pain can be devastating…so you do what you can to stop it. In my case, I was pretty good at making people laugh. Laughter can take a common person and make them feel like a king…or take a king and remind them of the slings and arrows of commonality.
The phrase ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’ is well known, but ultimately false. Laughter is pleasant, but it fixes nothing; it leaves everything as it was before. What is can be, however, is a powerful treatment for what is wrong in our heart and souls…for while it’s the chemotherapy that often destroys the cancer, it’s a warm bedside manner that has saved many people from letting themselves be destroyed in the process. Yet, sometimes it still ends up being all for not, with the metaphorical doctors and nurses being witness to a success the patient never lives to see themselves.
I make jokes about many of these things because I’m trying to get people to laugh along side me. I’m trying to be the change I want to see. As of late, however, I find myself cracking more and more jokes that I can’t get myself to smile about.
If I can’t make myself laugh on the sidelines, what are chances I’m going to bolster the folks on the front line? I couldn’t make heads or tails of the situation, especially when the people I’m trying to bolster are staring the terrors of bigotry, shame, and mortality right in the eye.
My “Drafts” folder on WordPress is 105 strong at present, and I’m relatively sure that well over half of those were started during the last year of relative radio silence. I’d try to write my thoughts on something…and I couldn’t finish them. Usually, I’d only get a few sentences in before I just ended up staring at the screen and shutting down the file.
I had passion for the topics…but not for anything I could say about them. I still, then as now, care about Heathenry, and ditto for matter of social equity, human dignity, theological/philosophical integrity as well. The problem became that couldn’t shape that passion into something I felt could be expressed. Not in the right way at least.
I ended up spending a lot of time work behind the scenes, as much as was possible, on stuff for Heathens for Social Justice. I helped more social, private discourses as long as best I could, trying to allow both sides to hear each other and give people a chance to really examine their thoughts. I worked on my personal writing projects, whose topics were much more self-serving in scope*. When it came to free lance work, I’ve been working on the creation of make shift studio to do voice work within. All the while, I was doing more to refocus my own, personal, devotional practices**.
In short? Self-care. I wouldn’t have called it that at the time, but it remains true that this is what I was practicing a form of. Yet, even though I’ve done well in terms of remaining busy and productive, I still feel miserable. I am angry, and it’s anger that is raw, blistered, an unfocused. It’s all an inarticulate, existential mess and it’s not helping anything.
Am I back? Don’t know; I’ve had more success writing something over the last two days then I had in a while…but that’s not the first time that’s happened either. Maybe just admitting, out loud “I’m pissed as hell” will help my dumb, occasionally strophic pride get over itself. Perhaps time will tell. Maybe this blog isn’t how I express myself going foreward, and maybe I’ll end up finding a new vehicle. For the moment, I have no exact clue.
One thing I do know is that I haven’t actually gone anywhere. My radio silence was not a true void, but simply an indication that I just needed to puzzle some stuff out for myself.
Until the shape and time of my return to writing is more firm then a melted creamsicle, however? I’m here. If you have a questions, comments, criticisms, or just particularly delicious recipes? I have the “Ask me Anything” open on my Tumblr, so feel to go wild with it if you are so inclined. I’ll be posting anything worth responding to both here and on said Tumblr.
In the mean time? Leave a light on for me; I’ll be back sooner or later, in some form or another.
*My more geeky blog has a series of three~four articles in different states of repair talking about how I think Wizards of the Coast can make hard-control/counter strategies viable once again without making them the only strategy worth building around. Gods only know when that one will be done, but I’ve got a bunch of prototype cards put together that I am very proud of. I also occasionally debate a rant about how Mages in Hearthstone are utter bullshit.
**I would never call this blog an exclusively devotional act of any kind. By the same token, I feel that demanding people pay attention to the reality of situations regardless of how they feel about them is (at least for me) par for the course of being Lokean. As such, the inability to write anything has left me feeling like a rather poor Heathen as of late.