Today all I’m doing is looking through a one-inch picture frame.
Over the last month, I have been in a no-holds-barred mêlée with writer’s block. When these moments occur, the first thing I do to try to remedy the situation is to read. A lot of the time, I turn to Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird.” Her musings on writing and life can often steer me back on course. Unfortunately this was not the case this time around. Many books on writing will tell you there’s not so much a block as there is an obstacle that you need to get passed. The plain truth is I have been empty.
Emptiness is a lonely feeling; one that can grabs hold of you and pokes holes in your happiness. And few things make me happy like writing does.
It happened suddenly one morning. I just stopped writing. And then it happened again, and again, and again; and pretty much every morning when I sat down and tried to “make genius happen,” as I like to call it.
Instead of words leaping from my fingertips, I sat and stared; pondered and pontificated with my coffee cup, and searched through pages of my notebook in search of inspiration.
I was positive that by getting up and walking away from my blank screen, I would find the necessary answers – the compulsory words; I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees because I was too buried in my computer.
So today I’m starting with the one-inch picture frame. Anne Lamott talks about this in “Bird By Bird,” saying, “It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. This is all I have to bite off for the time being.”
Today I’m focusing only on what I can see in that one-inch picture frame and nothing else. There is no recipe to follow, no Sunday bottle, just some artsy pictures and me pushing obstacles out-of-the-way and breathing. But don’t worry, next week, I already have an awesome post lined up for you!
According to my roommate, Jenny, “summer is officially here.” Summer solstice is still a few weeks away, but I have to agree with her that once Memorial Day arrives, it is officially summer; the schools grow quiet; the weather is perfectly warm; and fridge becomes regularly stocked with craft summer beers. And our beloved Tuesday’s on the Plaza begins, which means a gathering of friends with food and wine and music and memories.
It means flowers are in bloom…
And time for summer vegetable gardens.
It means sitting in the back patio of a not-yet-open restaurant owned by some friends and having a slice or two of pizza – sampling various doughs, looking for one with the perfect taste and texture.
And it means opportunities for fun and adventures with my best friend.
With all the writing struggles I’ve had, mixed with my struggles of finding a new job to make me happy, I’m finding that the best way for me to stay in the lightest parts of life is to do things that make me happy, and surround with myself with the people who can do that. Every day I have a choice of where I want to be. There will be negative spaces in life. But rather on focusing on the void, I choose to enjoy the fulfillment of happiness; and that all starts with looking through the one-inch picture frame – focusing on the intimate details instead of the full-size picture.