A Nameless Connection
It is easy for me to enjoy life when I am writing. When the writing is going even reasonably well I feel connected. I often take for granted this feeling of connection while writing because this is what writing has become. Writing without this connection now wouldn’t be writing. In fact, when I write without this feeling of connection I become miserable, and I dislike the work and very quickly myself. But mostly I feel connected, and I while I feel connected I enjoy the work and my life. It is also easy for me to enjoy life when I am teaching. My wife observed recently that all my writing is really just a kind preparation for my teaching. I think she might be correct. To help another person find his or her connection I must first find my own, and so these people called students serve to teach me what I have to teach them. When the teaching is going even reasonably well I feel quite clear about why I am on planet earth and why life is interesting and necessary and worth living.
But there is a lot of time one spends not writing or teaching. This time has confused and frustrated me for much of my life. I have named this time many things: boring, meaningless, difficult. Soon enough, I will give myself names as well: unimportant, unnecessary, lost, alone. And so this time is passed in unhappiness, as I have come to believe that the doors to what I seek are not merely closed but non-existent.
I could live out my days this way and be productive and happy enough. I could write more and more, teach more and more. Yet this would be living a kind of lie, as if my entire day did not belong entirely to me. It is such a simple error we make when we name life something other than what it always is. Look how it becomes what we call it, look how we cast ourselves in a horror movie of our own creation and call that melodrama reality. And look how the lights go up and curtain falls the moment we give life no name but our own.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.