I’ve got this strange sort of fear filling me lately. It started a few weeks ago when I knew I would have to quiet my creativity for a while so that I could attend to the tasks of moving and nesting. Now that I’m out of the habit of writing everyday, my hands and mind are hesitant. I’m worried about the quality and quantity of what will come out. I’m worried that the work that I’m about to sit down and edit (at my husband’s and my own nagging voice’s pressing) will shrivel and rot and turn to composted muck in the forest. Has anyone else ever hit a strange sort of wall like this? It’s not exactly a block, it’s more of a hesitation. I don’t like this feeling very much and I want it to go away.

I wanted to write a little something here to get my writing muscle limbered up. However, I’m distracted. Xander is not asleep yet. He’s had the croup which is always scary. The last time we had it we were living in Alaska, and we had just moved into our apartment there. It was a bit easier to treat it then: it was winter and below zero outside. After sitting in our new bathroom that was filled with steam, I put a blanket around his small body and carried him outside for a minute. The shock of the cold after the banya-like heat of the bathroom shook and rattled his lungs into thinking that they were well, that the virus had been frightened away in the middle of the night. As he struggled to breathe, his eyes growing round and frightened, his coughs coming out in painful barks, I pointed out the little floating crystals of ice that filled the air. The ground was soft and wet with new snow, and more was coming down around us. Except for the faint, distant sound of a dog  barking, everything was quiet. I could hear the snow padding the earth.

Last night was somewhat less dramatic than that. No midnight glitter in the moonlight. Just the steamy shower, and a quick minute out in the mild Tennessee October night. At one point I thought Gary or I would have to pop over to the 24 hour Walgreens to get some medicine, and I almost sunk to my knees in gratitude over the fact that we once again live somewhere with 24 hour drug stores.  As a mother, there is little more beautiful than the fluorescent glow of a Walgreens aisle at 4 pm when your child is sick with fever. There will be relief. There will be calm again.


7 thoughts on “fluorescent

  1. Don’t be afraid. To everything there is a season and sometimes the earth does best after a bit of a rest and a rain. Words will push forth again to reach the sun. I promise you.
    And I so hope your boy gets entirely well very quickly.

  2. I don’t see a writer stuck here, with the words you’ve written — the description of the air, the tightness of your boy’s breath. It sparkled.

    Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to the Irish novelist Anne Enright read from her new novel and speak a bit. She said that she never entertains or even uses the words “stuck in her writing” because it’s a jinx, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  3. I think I know a bit of how you might feel. After I’ve written several pieces I’m fairly proud of, then I hesitate–fearful that suddenly it’s all going to go wrong–that I can’t sustain the solid success–not exactly what you’re describing–but I experience this as hesitation.

  4. I think that’s exactly it, Kathryn. And by the way, I know your readers (myself included) wait on baited breath for each of your posts. Your story, and the beautiful way that you weave it, is breathtaking.

  5. Thank you so much. It’s been an exciting process so far and one made even more so when I hear that folks like you look forward to more. Your comment made my morning!

"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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