Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"Even when it's approaching torture, I've got my routine"

A year ago today, I had a Very Bad Day. It wasn't that kind of bad, if you understand my meaning. No one was in physical danger. But it was still bad.

Friends helped. Family helped. Talking helped. Medicine helped.

Things are better today.

And yet there is something I still struggle with, a lingering leftover from That Day. I have still not written the thing I was working on when I had my Very Bad Day. I fight with it, I poke around at it, I write a little and then I stop. And the next day, it starts again. Some days I give up completely and walk away. Sometimes it's for weeks at a time.

This has been going on far too long.

It's not that the thing I'm writing is hard - well, OK, actually it is hard, and it's supposed to be hard - but I've done things that are much harder in the past. This one, though, is linked to the Very Bad Day, and until I get through it, That Day will always be there, hanging over me. And more to the point, if I don't finish it in the very near future, I will be willfully, intentionally shooting myself in the foot, sacrificing years of work and time on my part and many others' because I had a Very Bad Day that I'm afraid to face again.

All the flowers have fallen from the magnolia tree out back, and it is fully, lushly green. Nature waits for no one, not even for me to find a way to write the thing I was supposed to have written before that last flower fell. So, I will pick up again from yet another missed deadline, and keep plugging.

The innernets, though, has a wicked sense of humour. As I was sitting here wasting time this evening, surfing the endless seas of YouTube, thinking about what I should be doing while I was doing anything but, thinking about one year ago today, and promises, and magnolia trees, this song came up unexpectedly, randomly, and I knew it was right (repeated lyrics edited):

Oh, for the sake of momentum
I've allowed my fears to get larger than life
And it's brought me to my current agendum
Whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive

And I know life is getting shorter
I can't bring myself to set the scene
Even when it's approaching torture
I've got my routine

Oh, for the sake of momentum
Even though I agree with that stuff about seizing the day
But I hate to think of effort expended
All those minutes and days and hours
I have frittered away.

But I can't confront the doubts I have
I can't admit that maybe the past was bad
And so, for the sake of momentum
I'm condemning the future to death
So it can match the past.

- Aimee Mann, "Momentum" (from the Magnolia soundtrack)

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