I need to work to get this unsettled feeling off of my chest, before it turns into a big grey weight and crushes me.


There is so much I want to write about. I have so many stories. I have no time for any of them, except for snippets. It’s been long since I’ve allowed myself to just escape into writing without reservation or time frame. My body is either so, so tired at night, and here at work I can’t delve too deep into my imagination. What happens is a trance, followed by an unfinished feeling that sticks with me for long afterwards. The works that proceeds when I’m able to pick the writing back up again is hopelessly flawed. It’s like cutting off a limb and then replacing it with a sausage limb.

Do all artists and writers feel this restless? Or is it my familial tendency? My ancestry includes vaudeville performers and traveling salesmen, is this my blood-earned destiny? Part of me feels like I’ll fall into a place that will just hum, and I’ll say to Gary, this is the place. I don’t feel like I’ve found it yet. Maybe I’ve read too many novels….remember the part Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife where  Henry lets Clare stumble upon the house she knows that they’re meant to live in, even though he already knows of course which house she will choose?

I think we just have to maybe…create the place, in word and surroundings and in deed. I am about to enter my educational path (finally, thank god, it’s about time, sweet justice). I just have to settle to make it so. My eyes need to look forward, of course, but not too forward. Living in the future is for aliens, and children in fantasy books.  I need to write out the restlessness and turn it into something to gobble up like pastry. Once that well has been tapped, and gathered in its own silver bucket, then we can “live openly, without hiding anything” (as the Dayton-born Natalie Clifford Barney said).

Regardless, here is what’s on my mind today:

Old black and white photographs, torn and worn and well-loved

Thick pots of color, pots of peonies, chalkboard black and grey

This vanilla rooibos tea I am drinking, which has brightened my dull and dark office with its sweet red taste

The places I have been, and the places I will go

My small, compact family and the universe that we inhabit

The elk that are waiting for us in the fog, how I hope they grace us with their presence


12 thoughts on “restless

  1. I don’t think that I’m innately restless, but I’ve been terribly so recently. I think, for me, it’s about our having traveled so much in recent years, that now having had a year a home is boring me. I don’t know why ultimately. I’m not unhappy. I just want to do something different, be somewhere different. Alas.
    Hope you have a peaceful weekend. Hope you have some time to write.

  2. I’m not sure if all writers feel restless, but I’ve got no doubt that all writers struggle with writing when they want to. It’s hard to relax and let your subconscious go wild when you have a million other demands during the day. I completely sympathise – when I was working full time I found it really very difficult to write a novel. Now that I’ve free time it’s a lot easier. But there have been brilliant writers who worked at jobs they didn’t like – all we can do is continue to write even when it feels most painful. If you practise something small hopefully it will turn into something big. x

  3. oh chrissy, i know, i know. i feel this too, every little detail of it. thank you for setting it down, because this post helps me get through this very present in me feeling, too. i am glad you made the notes of all the things swirling that you want to write about. they won’t slip away, because here they are, such beautiful notions, every one. keep writing here when you can’t write in all the fullness you yearn for. what you write here is exquisite—jewels waiting to be strung, maybe, but glittering and lovely on their own. thank you.

  4. I can totally see you feeling that way! So much exotic travel, and now quiet.

    We did have a nice weekend. No writing, but lots of reading around a campfire. 🙂

  5. “The elk that are waiting for us in the fog, how I hope they grace us with their presence” Oooooooh how I want to hear more about this. And of course the thick pots of peonies and chalkboards. 😉 You have so many beautiful ideas swirling around, I want to read about all of them! I hope you find the time you desire to sink in and do what it is you love.

  6. In the past few days, I’ve read several articles (posted by PhD and professor friends) about how tenured professors feel miserable. The other articles are all about how the professors and instructors chasing tenure feel miserable. (sidenote: I have vowed to stop reading articles about this topic, and the comments…..ugh).

    One thing that the first article told me….it said something about how those who have sought PhD’s are often the sort of folks who are always seeking, who are not satisfied easily.

    Now, there seems to be real truth in that. And maybe there is something generational, too….subconsciously, we expect for the perfect thing to be around the corner, to snap everything into focus. And we keep judging everything else against that perfect/imaginary thing.

    So I agree with you that artists feel somewhat restless and unsatisfied, just like creative thinkers and those in academia. It never feels like enough, somehow….


  7. I understand completely how you feel! Just back from holiday and got your letter today thank you sooooo much! I will write back soon xx

  8. It’s true. Both artists, and academics, are always searching for The Truth. Whether it’s their own version of The Truth or some other preconceived version. We’re like curators of our own existences.

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

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