anxiety, Living

Toxic Tilt-a-Whirl

Sometimes it is essential to spend time alone, apart, to process, to pare down.

Sometimes it is crucial to get out of oneself, one’s head, one’s ruminations.

Thoughts can become toxic, especially ones fraught with worry that get bigger each time they come around the bend.  And they circle around and around like a never-ending Ferris wheel run by an insane clown bent on making you a bitter old hermit after you’ve alienated all those close to you by verbalizing said toxic thoughts.

Maybe not verbalizing.  Maybe posting them on social media or in an email or letter.  Because toxic thoughts don’t play well in the real world.  They don’t like bright light.  They like to bubble and fester just below the surface.

Voicing them would make them sound ridiculous.  Saying them aloud would take away their irrational magic.

Or simply talking to other people might make you laugh.  It might make you forget all those sweet nothings the insane clown whispered in your ear.  You remember what it’s like in the land of the living.  You realize your worries were just that.  And that many of your toxic thoughts are what make you the same as other people.  You just need to press the release valve once in a while before you blow up yourself and everyone that you care about.

The best way to do this would be to turn toxic thoughts into meaningful dialogue.  To stop cowering in the corner from the insane clown and say what you mean and how it makes you feel instead of allowing your thoughts to run amok and turn toxic.

Now who knows how to overpower an insane clown without pulling all her own hair out?

This is the least scariest picture I could find of an insane clown.  No wonder clowns give kids nightmares!

This is the least scariest picture I could find of an insane clown. No wonder clowns give kids nightmares!


Somewhere Out There

I write best when in my car.

No, I’m not one of those people you see mouth agape going eighty miles an hour applying mascara.  I’m not reading the map spread across my dashboard as I try to maintain lane (disregard the fact that ergonomic dashboards and GPS have made this point moot).  I’m not even trying to eat a sloppy sandwich as I steer with my elbows.

I have both hands securely planted on the wheel, watching both the speed- and tachometer, the radio adjusted to a safe level so as not to cause distraction.  My youngest daughter is safely secured in her five-point harness in the backseat.  My eyes are on the road and what the traffic ahead of me is doing.

Some part of my mind, however, is in the hills lit by sunlight on the horizon.  The clouds sweeping across the crest of the hill.  That part of my mind is parsing words and phrases, building them up and fine-tuning them.

the roadInto poetry.

Into a thousand different perfect prompts for this blog.

Into the character quirk I’ve been needing for Dmitri.

Into metaphors and images, symbols and signs –

all of which leave me when I sit down hours or days later at the keyboard.

There are times it’s happened in the ether just before sleep.  When the body has relaxed just enough to quell the mind’s obsessing, but not it’s creative processes.  Perfectly formed paragraphs gather and congregate.  Teasing me to remember them, knowing I won’t fight the exhaustion to lift a pen and record them in the notebook on my bedside table.

In the morning, the memory of them remains but not the perfect manuscript.

A voice to text application would probably help.  But I have such a nostalgia for and dedication to hand- and typewritten words.  I’m searching for a place to display the ancient Underwood typewriter my father’s holding for me now.  It would feel disingenuous somehow to speak my words into thin air and have them magically transform to text.  Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment.  Maybe I just hate to hear a playback of my recorded voice.

I’m hopelessly devoted to forming the perfect mental manuscript and promptly forgetting it when my hands touch the keyboard.  If only mental memory would transfer to sense memory in this one instance.  Just another form of writers’ block, I suppose.  Or another rationalization for not writing what I’m supposed to be.  It’s much easier to lament the perfect lost words than write the imperfect permanent ones.

So I’ll take leave of you now.  Perhaps to go for a drive.  Perhaps to build on the momentum I finally reengaged in my book yesterday.  Or maybe to go stare out the window and dream of the perfect words floating somewhere out there.