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Quicksand

My goal is to write every day and share what I’ve done, my work (my play?) publicly, either on this blog or my other one, so that I’m posting something every weekday. But some days, I just don’t have anything in me, nothing to share beyond, “These are the books I’m reading and these are the TV shows I’m watching right now.” You need input to get output. You can’t steal from an empty house.

I finally got to where I had something posting all week. I felt really good about it, proud of myself. Accomplishing something like that makes me want to do more.

And then Orlando happened. 100 people shot in a club that was a sanctuary for them in a society that still sees them as abnormal, even perverse and despised. 100 people shot, half that number dead, just for being who they are. Which is who I am, too, as well as many, many of my beloved family and friends. I took it hard. I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness and anger for a week now.

When I was a little kid, TV and movies had me convinced that quicksand was something I’d have to deal with a lot.

quicksand

What I didn’t realize was that I would, it’s just that it’s metaphorical quicksand. This week, I’ve been sinking in the quicksand of my own thoughts, and I just haven’t had the power to make myself write (beyond one clumsy but heartfelt poem, written furiously in response to Orlando). I think that even if I hadn’t recently gone off my anti-depressant, I’d still be crying a lot because…well, a lot of people were needlessly murdered. I’m wary of anyone not moved to tears by this.

It’s tempting to get upset with myself for not writing. It’s true, you can’t be a writer if you don’t write. But it’s also true that taking time off from my library job when I’m sick doesn’t make me less of a librarian. Self-care is important. No, wait, scratch that. Self-care is essential. In TV shows and movies, the heroes always get out of the quicksand when they stop struggling and let themselves relax, easing slowly out. I decided not to struggle against this sadness and anger, to just let it ride, acknowledging that I need time to grieve and rage. And now here I am, writing a blog post (about how I couldn’t get myself to write), easing myself out of the quicksand.