Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lost the Groove - Where's my Mojo?

Today is one of those days that I wish I worked for a company and not for myself and I could get to say I am sick to go home. Not that I ever did that, but it would be nice to do so once in a while when you're feeling sorry for yourself and it seems that nothing worthwhile is happening in your life - or rather, nothing you do is worthwhile doing as you seem to accomplish absolutely nothing with 18 hours of work per day.

Yep, I am feeling sorry for myself. I guess everyone has those days, its just I am not used to them. Being busy 90% of my waking hours means I don't get much time to ponder things that bother me and which I have no control over. Today though, my attention span is non-existent, my temper short and my patience thin. Why? I have no clue!

Writing usually solves the problem, but today the mojo took a vacation. I have no desire to edit the book I planned to send to the publishers (notice the past tense) nor the inclination to write the myriad of articles needed to maybe someday supplement my income. Going at it for nearly two years with only peanuts to show doesn't exactly create motivation in my mind. Add the dwindling page views (nobody has the answer as to why) and the accompanying revenue drop and you will also feel like slamming the keyboard against the wall and walking out.

Add to the above the fact that a publisher now has been reviewing a novel for nearly 5 months with no answer - not even a peep, you will understand the frustration setting in. Reason? How the hell do I know if the hours spent writing (which is fun) and editing (which is horribly hard work) are good enough to be considered for publishing. How do you motivate yourself to continue writing / editing when you have no clue as to the worth of the stories in your head?

Don't get me wrong. I will keep writing down the stories in my head until the day I die - it is like breathing - a requirement for me to live. Knowing they are not good enough to share with the great world out there, would eliminate the editing process...I hope. Talk to any writer and you will hear that they always strive to do better, to improve their writing skills, to find a way to more effectively tell the story in their minds. Mmm, I foresee a problem. Stories need to be told, which translates to someone has to hear/read them. Editing will thus not be eliminated - a writers ego wouldn't allow unedited work to be displayed.

Darn, looks like I will be stuck with the whole process whether I like it or not. Let me go for a walk and ponder this some more.

Walking is as good as any therapy session - did you know that? While walking on our small farm the sun reflected on the yellowing grass harboring Cape Long claws (Oranjekeelkalkoentjies for the Afrikaans speaking readers) and I realized that I could see. Wow, how many people out in the world are unable to see the miracles of nature and here I am complaining while I can see the wonderland God created.

I can hear the black-collared Barbet fight with the crested Barbet. I can hear the wind rustling the leaves of the acorn trees and feel them floating down on the breeze. How many people will never experience that?

The biggest factor - I can walk! How cool is that?

This blog post just served to lighten my mood. I have NOTHING to complain about and so much to be thankful for. The mere fact that I am able to write this, is a reason to be grateful. How fickle is the mind of a human. We, who are more privileged than at least 60% of the world's population, tend to moan and groan on how bad we have it, but we conveniently forget about war-torn countries where to breathe and be alive is not guaranteed. We forget about poverty-stricken countries where the next meal, how small it may be, is not a given.

Now I am thoroughly ashamed of writing this post in the first place, but like walking, it served to clear my head and focus on what is important in life. YOU HAVE TO COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR, EVERY MINUTE. Who knows when some of them will be taken away?

For those of you who read through these ramblings - thank you and may your thoughts always be positive. I'm off to continue editing. Until next time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Winter Blues in Mpumalanga

Today autumn flipped its leaves into winter. The wind howled around the corners and blew Acorn leaves all over the yard. Suddenly, the grass acquired a grayish tint over the yellow waving stalks.
My nose filled with dry earth and my ears rang with the song of the wind begging to be heard. How did I miss noticing the season of the dead approaching?
But, does everything die in winter? Or is everything not as it seems?
To me, winter signifies rest - not death.
Wild seeds rest peacefully underneath the frozen ground, giving the ground above a chance to recuperate after a lush growth period during spring and summer. Grass die down so that it can sprout new shoots when spring arrives. Everything seems to go into limbo, waiting in breathless suspense for the first thaw to arrive.
Nights spend in front of a crackling fire, roasting marshmellows and drinking hot chocolate more than atone for the inability to brave the unrelenting wind outside. Snuggling against your loved one - whether human or animal - on a cold winters night, shoveling snow from your porch (hmmm - not very likely in South Africa as we treasure the little snow we get) or slipping on early morning frost when the night covered the grass in a blanket of ice, are memories only winter can provide.
In all...I love winter!
How do you feel about winter?