Saturday, July 9, 2016

I used to ...

I used to live for sunny days; now I love the grey cloudy wet days and that is a good thing because this is the wettest summer I can recall in a long, long time.
I used to dread being alone; now it’s my preferred state.
I used to enjoy reading, rarely watched TV and loved undertaking creative projects; now I hardly ever read, I watch a lot of TV at night and I’ve lost my passion for creating.
I used to cry when emotions became extreme; now I have a seizure.
Even baking, a passion of the past three years, cannot engage me any longer. I’ve developed baker’s block and the “loss” is surprising and disappointing considering I just spent a modest fortune on cooking classes and outfitting my kitchen with a lot of new equipment.
Perhaps the most troubling change is from active to passive in that I rarely instigate getting together with anyone. Instead, I respond to invitations.
I made a booklet for my friends to explain and had it printed. I had it printed and I got it out just before the post office strike begins. On Thursday I had two mild seizures and yesterday I had three — almost every in the company of a friend — so I’m glad I circulated it because it tells people what to do when I seize.
The one constant of my emotional mosaic is my love of writing. It’s still the first thing I do every day and it’s still the most fulfilling thing I do. I really enjoyed doing the graphics and technical writing; it was like old times.
I write long emails to “pen pals;” I write letters to people on cards I make or buy and I write a lot of doodling with a keyboard that I throw away.
I used to post on this blog often and I’d be quite open about my life but I’m not inclined to such transparency any more. Instead, I’m going back to long form writing.
For thirty years I was a technical writer who worked to commission; I never wrote a word that didn’t earn me money. Post retirement, I got into long form that I published or produced myself (Trudeau, the Felons and Me, my last long form project, was technically a commission.) All that time, I was motivated by the goal.
Finally, a dream realized: I am wholly invested in process not outcome. I’ve let go of the world and I’ve got two long form projects going that I think are the best writing I have ever done. It’s certainly the most satisfying composing I’ve done.

I used to care how it ended before I began. Now I don’t and it feels very, very good.

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