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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In With the New

Out with the old.

And in with the writer’s block? 

That is certainly how today feels to me. 

I do not like the word ‘resolution’ especially when I find it coupled with the words ‘new’ and ‘year’.   Still, this 'two-thousand-and-nine' beckons me to evaluate and make changes.  So, I’ve given it some serious thought, and among other goals, I am determined to write a steady stream of pieces that I can publish to my blog.  I did get a late start, considering that today is Monday, January 5; but I began the day with a fairly decent free-writing journal entry, and have since been pondering a new blog post---in between laundry and lunch and a random jaunt across the internet universe, looking for an application that will let me twitter my blog posts automatically. 

In the midst of all this wheel-spinning, I’ve discovered something.  My brain is not as practiced as it used to be at gleaning details and images, and keeping a reserve of creative ideas to blog about.  I find myself staring at a blank page, wondering, ‘why does this seem so hard, when it is usually so simple’?  I find that I’m breaking all my own rules for writing, stickling over grammar when I should be following my pen, stumbling over pebbles, because the ideas seem to have settled in for their long winter’s nap. 

So, I must shift my focus.  

Instead of peering into the vast whiteness of a blank page, I turn and eye the Christmas tree.  It is, after all, nearly mid January (give or take a week) and its branches have been dark for far too long.  It did its duty throughout the holiday season, drawing the eyes of all who stepped into the room, and guarding a modest pile of gaily-wrapped gifts.  Today, it stands quietly in the corner, perhaps leaning a bit dejectedly to the left.  

That could be my imagination.  

The ornaments are still nestled between branches, looking a bit tired, probably hoping I’ll hurry up and slip them into their divided trays with a bit of soft stuffing for cushion, so they can each bed down for their ten-and-a-half-month hibernation.  

I am not in any hurry.

A cheerful collection of snowmen sits atop my beloved antique hutch, their round bellies shining in the soft overhead light.  Each one peers down at me over their carrot and button noses, mocking the warm, January weather just outside the back door.  They have probably given up all hope of seeing any snow this year, more than ready to return, to their box-beds in the attic.  

I am beginning to wonder myself.  

Although I do not relish the thought of icy roads, downed power-lines and falling trees we had in the Great Ice Storm of 2007, I would not mind having some real cold weather come and stick around for a while.  I long for the taste of a snowflake melting on my tongue, and the crunching sounds of fresh snow beneath my feet---as long as those feet are wrapped in a pair of thick socks and a some warm boots.  Today though, it is warm enough to check the mail the postman just left in my bare feet and short sleeves.

There is an awesome space, where the wall meets the ceiling in this room.  Being the daughter of a carpenter, you would think I would know what to call it, but the term eludes me---perhaps is it the eave?   Shortly after Thanksgiving, I fill that space with greenery and white lights, preparing for Christmas.  The room looks so pretty with those branches lined up and the lights twinkling merrily.  I would love to leave them up year round.  In fact, I seriously consider the idea every January---though I suspect evergreen branches from discarded Christmas trees would somehow lose their charm come the first of June, even if they are filled with twinkling lights --– Knowing me, I would probably be ripping them down by the end of April.

I sigh, and let my gaze wander.  

Scattered about the room are various candelabras with candles in red and white and green---pillars and tapers and votives used to light the December nights as we read by the fireplace, (though it was rarely cold enough to light a real fire). Wicks all stand, tall and dark, ready to be re-lit, and ward of the non-existent chill. Piles of Christmas books cover the coffee table---Dickens and Capote cavort with modern tales and poetry about the season.  I should really return them their shelf in the library.  The time for Christmas stories is past again.

Several other surfaces around the family room hold finely detailed crèches.  Marys and Josephs, shepherds, and wise men, gather in a lowly stall with sheep and donkeys and an occasional cow, to marvel at the advent of the newborn King. It is an historic moment in time, captured and frozen, like a grandfather clock whose spring has come unwound and is waiting for the clock-winder to come along and kick start the tick-tock rhythm once again. 

I sigh, and realize, that is just how I feel.  I’m eager to kick start January, to sit at my desk, or here on the sofa, and write until something worth reading spills out of my pen.  I am determined to do it.  To keep scribbling away, until I actually stumble upon something I can work with.  It may take me a bit longer than I had hoped it would, but I will not give up. 

Then, when I feel I have spilled enough words to work my way into a decent piece, I will set it aside to simmer and wait for revisions.  I suppose, after all that, I will give in, and drag out the ornament boxes and the spools for the ribbons and the Christmas lights; and eventually I will take down that leaning tree.  I suppose ‘tis the season for change. 

Out with the old.

 In with the new.

1 comment:

TheAmulet - Hannah said...

Hey!! So this is where you've gone! I've missed your posts over in Xanga land; you're always inspiring. Glad to have found you again.

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