I can't write. It's not that my mind is empty or that I have nothing to say - the words are there. When I'm in the shower, they fly around in my head, rearranging themselves in lovely sentences that give me faith that something is coming...
"Family reunions should not come with the warning 'Be careful. The water moccasins are hanging from the trees.'"
"I know the smell of stale beer and the sweet sharp smell of yesterday's lime."
But, when I step out of the shower, I let them evaporate like the steam on the bathroom mirror because I don't know what to do with them. They don't fit what I'm writing now. Well, I should say they don't fit with what I feel I am supposed to be writing now.
I've always written with a purpose. For a deadline. For a reason.
I don't just write.
In my writing group, I joke that I don't want to waste my words and there is truth in that. I only want to write what I can use, so, I let go of the water moccasins and limes.
I know that I am being careful. I am filled with doubt. I am scared about the change that is coming in my life even though I know this change is good.
I can't write.
But maybe if I'm less miserly with my words, I will be able to.
So, let me tell you a story without a purpose...
I chopped jalapeños and compulsively washed my hands afterwards because I always end up touching my eyes and lips and then end up with Fire Face. Not surprisingly, I touched my eyes and lips and, as everything was facially aflame, I washed my hands a million times more. Then, I went upstairs and changed my tampon and was forced to ponder the question, "HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE THE JALAPEÑO JUICE IS OFF OF YOUR HANDS?!"
There. Now, I have hopefully broken through my writer's block and issued a public service announcement about the dangers of mixing jalapeños with delicate parts of one's anatomy. My work here is done.