By Brian Westbye
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever connect with a thought (again).
The words escape, trickling away from my conscious, until they gather behind a wall, mocking me. Ideas swoop in and out, never staying long enough to present themselves. Flickers of notions, here and gone before I can get my pen out.
Not to be.
Sometimes the thought of trying to write another piece, no matter how short, leaves me paralyzed with fear. I try to start but can’t, and I convince myself that I will never finish another sentence again. I try to reach the words behind the wall, but they remain trapped, never to see daylight. The blank page screams in triumph, and I cower in defeat.
Often the exhaustion gets to me.
Trying to form and finish a narrative against the backdrop of reality: extremely stressful day-job, long, soul-sucking commute, mortgage, bills, aches and pains, daily maintenance, feeding and watering. Some days it gets to me and I give fleeting credence to the naysayers in my head—the voices screaming quit and rest.
But I can’t quit and rest, you see. Because I have no choice. Because I am so close to things happening and opportunities presenting themselves and my goal of self-sufficiency through the written word actually maybe, just maybe, becoming my reality.
Because I need to tell what I know, to connect with others, to be there for someone now. Because getting my story out to the world heals me. And, I hope, helps others to heal.
I have no choice.
I have no choice but to continue. So it starts with one word—one word interrupting the purity of the blank page, like a cheap run turning a 10-0 blowout into a 10-1 ballgame. One word leading to two; one thought connecting to another.
One thinker trying to connect with a thought (again)…
Editor: Dana Gornall