I’d like to say that I just sit down at the keyboard and bang these posts out in 20 minutes. I don’t, but I’d like to be able to say that the words just flow from my brain to my fingers and presto, you get something interesting to read. Writing doesn’t work that way. In fact most creative things don’t work that way.
It takes … oh I don’t really know … practice, time, a gift, an insight or just plain luck.
Sometimes it just takes turning off your brain and just doing something. Kind of like how a child decorates a Christmas tree – they just take stuff and stick it everywhere. At least that’s how I did it as a kid. If I’m honest, it’s still kind of the way I do Christmas decorating. First I look for all the lights, controls and extension cords I have, and then I just put them up on the house. When I’m out of lights, I’m done.
Creative or mindless? Kind of hard to tell. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out if the lights are balanced, pleasing, or conform to a theme. Now, we do have three lit up deers (two does and a buck) and those were set to grazing on the lawn in a somewhat realistic way. The lights on the outside trees, just kind of got stuck up there.
Actually, we just bought this long adjustable light placing stick from the store and I was spending more thought on how to move the light strings using an 11 foot pole than figuring out if I’d covered the tree properly.
I’m just hoping when it gets dark that the lights don’t look wacky.
The whole time I was shoving lights on trees and roof gutters, I was thinking about what I wanted to write about tonight. That’s where my brain started to overload. There are so many things that could make a great post. This week, Heather and I, took a long walk at a park we’re starting to like as it has great views of Reno. There is a lot more I could say about getting my Nevada driver’s license or perhaps I could do an amusing piece about going to the eye doctor for a new pair of glasses on Tuesday.
I did briefly consider writing a long piece on why I’ve not been writing much lately, but I think I’ve written that essay a lot in the past. Maybe I could bring something fresh to that or perhaps my readers don’t remember those.
Then there is that poem that’s been going through my mind. You know, the one I haven’t written. The one that I see outside my room, on the desert hills above the house as the sun starts to rise and warm the frozen lawn. Words that would make you feel what it is like to leave a familiar place and arrive where you can breath. A place where a cold sun can warm your heart.
Just outside the backdoor of our house is a junk pile. It’s the result of me demolishing a dog run, a play structure and things. It’s a jumble that I’ve reached into and pulled out material for planter boxes and soon a lumber rack for my woodshed.
Words are in my brain like that right now – a big jumble. Fragments of ideas, glances of images, a scent of something that might be whole.
But it’s not complete. Unlike the light strings, nothing holds the words together.
Sometimes the act of creativity is just collecting bits of junk and looking to see how they might come together as something new, something meaningful.
And it often takes longer than twenty minutes.
The last image of the day in my desert home just passed in front of my window – sunset and the glow of the hills turning to black. Except for the lights on my lawn. Now it’s time to see how the lights on the trees really look.