I took a little break to refuel after posting everyday for 46 days. I was feeling a little winded. As I look back over my month and a half of posts, I feel that most of them are just what I wanted. There are a few I threw out there without thinking just to post something. That was going to happen again this Thursday until I decided to just take a couple of days off to think about where I am going with my writing. I am still thinking, but I decided to think out loud a little.
I have been so busy the last few weeks I feel like I am viewing my life from a bullet train with trees and buildings close to the tracks. Everything is is a blur, but it feels as if I am getting somewhere. The only problem is, I am not sure I where I am going. I want to write more, but about what? I am thinking about my job a lot lately and so am doing my work in a more thoughtful and thorough way, but I am not completely satisfied by my work. Writing is an important part of the way I arrange my thoughts and make my life feel right to me, but if I am always concentrating on work, work becomes my life and that seems to narrow a plank for me to walk. I feel best when my imagination and creativity are given wide fields of possibility in which to roam. I find my work satisfying, when I am doing well at it, as I am engaged in it, but I find it constraining to be spending so much of my time at it.
I am trying to piece together some ideas for my next novel. The bits and broken threads lay in little piles refusing to be attached to each other. My work is like a breeze that constantly wafts through scattering the piles into the corners and under the furniture. I try to write about work, but then it feels like I am always working. Writing my first novel was more like playing with a story. When I write poetry, I plays with the thoughts and ideas behind words. Writing about what I do for a living is like working, I don’t mind doing it and even gain some pleasure from it, but it doesn’t give me a feeling of opening into a broader world, more a feeling of looking through a magnifying glass and taking notes. I get tired of the constant need to be right about what I am doing. To say the right thing in the correct way is an important part of being a professional. In my writing I want to not give a damn. I want imagine what the world would be like for someone who was not a preschool teacher, but that is hard when I am concentrating on being a preschool teacher because that is important to me too.
I need to find a balance. There is also my family and friends and music and art and the beautiful day to consider and be part of. I have tried all my life to balance all of this. My huge feelings for a full life, the need to support my life with work, and my relationships with people that are part of my life. I tip this way and that, like a juggler spinning plates on poles. I focus on one for a while then out of the corner of my eye I see another start to wobble. I rush over and give that one a spin, and so on. It seems like after 50 years I could find a way to keep it all going without dropping plates, but I am always having to catch them and put them back on their poles. Mostly I am better at not breaking them or having them roll too far away for me to find in time to keep the others spinning smoothly. I need to invent an extra hand or an extra me to get all this spinning done, to keep the balance. But where does it all end up, eventually something will fall, and I won’t have the gumption to get it all going again. What I need is to find a way to put all my plates on one pole or at least closer together so that I can keep them going without all the flurry. The problem with that is I have very little control over where my poles are the people and activities of my life seem to choose me. They move where they will, and I try to find the middle ground so that I can make it to each before they wobble out of control and I have to decide whether it is worth the effort to get that one up, spinning again or if I should just work with what is left and perhaps be more successful in keeping the show going. Maybe I need to redesign my act, get a trained seal, or some poodles who ride ponies. I can just stand there and give orders. I am sure there are drawbacks to this also, feeding, training etc. Maybe I should just get a dummy and learn to speak without moving my lips. I am sure I could come up with something, but for now I will try to maintain the balance and minimize the breakage.