So I’m sitting here staring at my open Word document that contains my novel in the works, watching that vertical line blink repetitively at the end of my last sentence. It’s driving me nuts. I think I’ve re-written the last sentence I wrote about fifty times. It’s still not right, and although I know what needs to be written next, I’m not “feeling it”, if that makes any sense. So what do you do when you hit a roadblock? I don’t know, I try lots of things, but I decided to blog tonight.
This is a short story (story might be overstating it) I wrote last year on a night I had insomnia. I don’t know why this happened to me a lot that year, but it did. So in the early hours of that morning, I found myself spewing thoughts onto paper. I tend to get a lot of random philosophical musings late at night and it doesn’t always make sense when I re-read it in the morning, so be warned.
What do you do when you can’t fall asleep? And to the writers, how do you combat writer’s block? Share your thoughts below. Xx
Sometimes, when I’m alone, I close my eyes. That’s when I hear it – the unspoken whispers of the universe, my constant yet forgotten breaths, and the silence. The beautiful silence. My eyes are closed and I listen. I try to understand the meaning of significance and how my insignificance fits into the much larger world around me.
I look at people sometimes and wonder about their story. Everyone has a story. I want to sit next to the solemn old man with a walking stick and ask him what his story is. Why does he look so sad? Do the deep, gentle creases in his forehead represent years of wisdom or just one too many years? I’m curious. But I never ask. I’m too afraid. So instead, I choose to listen to the silence and hope that my purpose will become clear to me that way.
Do you ever wonder what you’re doing here? I’m not talking about the meaning of life per se, but I ask that question just as it is. What am I doing here? If I died tomorrow, what would happen? I wonder if I would look down from heaven and feel any remorse about all the things I never did, or just look down with a surprising indifference at everyone left who didn’t die. I wonder if it would just be a bit like ‘so what? I died’. I even wonder if it would feel liberating – not because I’m suicidal, but just because I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about all the little things people have told me I need to worry about as a grown-up. I would look down from heaven, and it would just be like ‘so what?’. I think, maybe, death doesn’t scare me like it does other people. Whether there is a heaven, or whether those who leave us just poof into thin air, I’m not afraid of the day I find out. Until then, life is a perpetual learning experience and often we forget to just pause on the journey and relish, simply, in what is.
Who made up all these rules anyway? You read about all these laws and regulations, or ways that things are done, and I just wonder who decided first it had to be done that way. Sometimes, when I listen to the silence, I feel like we’ve become lost in all the paperwork, and I yearn. I actually yearn to live in the past a million years ago when all that mattered was survival. There was none of what we’ve come to define as responsibility, when really, responsibility should really just be a duty to yourself – a kind of promise, if you will, to feel good about the things you do until the day you discover whether there’s a heaven or not.
So I lie here. I listen and embrace the beautiful silence around me – a silence that includes the sounds of cars, of people, of the cool breeze, of the city, of the world. I listen very carefully and I allow myself to feel every emotion. It burns a hole inside of my heart so very deep that tears rush to the surface of my eyes and I don’t understand why I’m almost crying. Then it begins to spread like a warm fire throughout my entire body and for one whole moment, nothing matters. Nothing matters because I disappear. I become the silence – floating, drifting, surreal. My insignificant body in this gigantic universe I will never wholly understand.
I look forward to the nights, those lonely moments just before you fall asleep. Because I know that when I open my eyes, I’ll remember the silence, but I’ll get up anyway. I’ll follow the rules, I’ll fill out the paperwork, I’ll chase the dreams I’ve been taught to want. Why? I don’t ask why. The answer scares me: because it’s the only way I know how to live.
© Lily K. Lynn 2011