Wednesday. A doldrum. As in Moby Dick (the movie, at least; I never made it all the way through the book), no wind lifts my sails; no enthusiasm moves me through the stilled mental waters.
Notebook entries are scratchings on the page. There is no music. No continuity. Not one damned iota of excitement. No sweetness in the characters. No potential in the story.
I know what this is. I’ve been here before. It’s an illusion; a combination of mental exhaustion from the intensity of ten-days-straight working and the press of the profound winter cold. I am reduced to being. To staring straight ahead. I have nothing more complicated in my mind than the automatic functions that keep my body moving. I am made of cardboard.
I know what’s happening. This is not depression. It is sheer and utter emptiness. I know that I can look back over the posts of the past year and see the ebb and flow of myself reflected there, see the same doldrum evidenced at other times. I am too indifferent right now to track it back and understand the inner rhythm. I don’t really care enough to.
I know what the remedy is: just letting be. This is the difference between trying to figure the story out and letting it figure itself out; letting it grow organically from seeds already planted in my head. If I let myself lie fallow, the energy will come back. In the meantime, I give myself the grace of busy-work. I organize notes from the senseless notebooks into their relevant chapter-buckets on the computer. I keep the loved-one close—even though love is the absolute last thing I feel right now. Being Reduced to Being is as close as a writer comes to Non-existence. It’ll be nice to find myself again.
[CLOSING NOTE:] Sure enough, no sooner did I come to these conclusions than a tiny peephole opened in the not-ness…some very promising notes into the tape recorder that ended up where it belonged, strapped to my wrist. Not a retreat of the nothing, but a step in the right direction. Reduced to Being a Little More.