This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
On Winter Blues and Lightness
Today is the anniversary of when I left the hospital after five weeks (it felt so much longer!) of steady recovery. Every year during these weeks, from early December to mid-January, I feel heaviness. I feel especially introspective. A lot of people get depressed around the holidays for various reasons, from the gray sky that hangs over Midwest winters to the pressures of family, but I tie my winter blues directly to that near-death experience.
But January 13th, I feel lighter. I see that trajectory toward spring, toward blue skies, toward rebirth. Finally moved and settling in, my "writing life" is finding its rhythm. Because I typically work at the library just three days a week, I have many days where I can make myself coffee, sit down at my lovely desk (see below), read the news, and then write write write. I set weekly goals for myself: so far, so good.
I also began collaborating on a project with someone I know from the library and now regularly meet with. He has an exciting idea, and my task is to turn that idea into a story or book. Thematically, it's completely different than my own work-in-progress; lighter, more playful, yet still packs an emotional wallop.
Next week I begin the next term of Women Writing for (a) Change. I'm even more excited than last time, knowing what a positive experience it is. I think of an Annie Dillard quote I've used before:
The women in my class remind me that I'm not crazy to be thrilled, rocked, and exhilarated by the words I write, because they too are exhilarated by their own.