Years of my life I’ve spent spending my time
Waiting for something I can’t quite define.
A big silver clock ticks on top of my head.
The more the time passes I miss what it’s said.
My glasses are thicker; my waistline is too.
The days looking forward are fewer than few.
Just out of reach is the answer I want.
Changing and morphing, the words are a taunt.
I watch others pass me, getting there first.
They started before me, with placement that’s worse.
Where am I going? What purpose is this?
What obstacles are there for me yet to miss?
Life can be hard, but the ending is certain.
When all’s said and done, how much waiting is worth it?
I’ve been pretty hard on myself lately about how much I haven’t been writing. I take being my own worst critic to award-winning levels. I read all sorts of articles and blogs about writing, how to get published, etc. I try to immerse myself in all things literary to try and stay focused; admittedly not my best talent. Many of the things I’ve read say that if you are not feeling inspired to “just write”. Doesn’t matter if it’s crap or gold. The act of trying will produce something, and you can always work with something rather than nothing. Seems pretty sage to me, so I tried it.
To get back into the swing of things, I reared my novel start to (un)finish. As I read, I tweaked a word here or there, which developed into a sentence, which by the end became a rhythmic tapping on the keys. Huh. Go figure. It helped me feel a small sense of pride as I realized my storytelling skills have been improving while I wasn’t paying attention. I’m starting to like what I read.
So I’m sitting there typing away, and I glance up and three hours have gone by. I should have been asleep two hours ago, and I don’t want to stop, so I reset my clock and start calculating how much time I can shave off my morning routine if I skip the non-essentials, like straitening my hair or ironing my uniform. I’ll let you sort out how well that worked out.
I swear I am waking up from some sort of anti-writing spell. I’m feeling motivated, and I just might get around to finishing what I started.
What am I doing talking about it? Great question.
Back to writing!!!
As I walk through the city of Chicago, I always admire the towering giants that touch the clouds and sing of human ingenuity, achievement, and a constant stride towards the sky. I love the city. I know without a doubt that this is the world in which I belong. I love that you can travel the length a breadth of it on established transit. I love that a bus is rarely more than a twenty minute wait to go wherever your heart carries you. A train no more than ten. Getting where you are going is never a problem. Choosing where to go offers seemingly infinite possibility.
Chicago holds an intoxicating blend of old world grace and craftsmanship with the new, bold, and practical. On the block where I walk from the bus stop into work there is a building that practically shouts, “I was cutting edge in the sixties.” standing next to it, a building that quietly says, “Al Capone once met a girl for drinks in my lobby.” Then as you cross the street there is another building that may have once been a factory, but now houses students whose parents pay their tuition. To get to the park across the street from my apartment, you pass through a concrete tunnel under the expressway. It sounds like it should be a dull walk, but there are beautiful murals painted by a local art studio, all of which have mosaic tiles woven into each unique piece. There is a stream of flowers caught in the air, followed by an octopus, followed by a proud eagle, finished by a 1920’s style painting of people in a park. When you emerge from the tunnel, you see a fountain-empty now for the winter, but I imagine flowing and graceful when the garden thaws. This is the peace garden, which is connected to a lovely nature path that leads to the marina. It’s name does it justice. I find it very peaceful to walk here, and often do.
Lately I’ve been feeling rather cut off from the world though. It’s amazing how a place so filled with people can be so alarmingly lonely. I find I have nobody to talk to when things don’t go as planned-as lately they really haven’t. When my work life makes me crazy and I want to vent, there is nobody to listen, save my cat, and I’d rather not dive down that particular rabbit hole just yet.
In these moments, I wonder if I made a mistake moving so far from everything familiar. It isn’t that I want to go home exactly; it’s that a wish a bit of the home feeling had come here with me. I want this place that seems to mesh so well with who I am to be somewhere I feel I can hang my hat and stay. I know I ought to have more patience, as I have only lived here 5 months. Already I have an apartment, a job, and tentatively a writing group- though I haven’t been able to go in some time due to work. My schedule will be freed up a bit in March (so I’ve been promised) and maybe then I won’t feel so melancholy. Until then, I’m going to do my best to keep my chin up. That’s all anyone can ever ask, right?