Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day... uh....

It has been a long time since I've written. The well dried up. Seemed to have hit the rock bottom of my creativity and imagination.

It was depressing to know the true depths (or not) of my abilities.

So I had to decide: force myself to keep writing, and feel frustrated in the process and unhappy with the result? Or step away. Close the laptop. Wait and see if more would come.

So that's what I did.

And for a long time, nothing came. Not a thing. I would try, on occasion, and find nothing there. So I tried to be patient and keep waiting.

Then this past weekend, I took Thing 3 and got on an airplane to fly to meet some good friends up in New England. It had been a cloudy week here in Charlotte. The very definition of muggy, without a single ray of sunshine. Not typical for here. I was looking forward to the flight and the utter assurance that we would pull above the clouds and see the sunshine, even if it was only for a couple hours.

We boarded the plane and found our seats clear at the back. The flight wasn't full, which was nice. I put Thing 3 in the seat next to me, which was open, and stretched out. Waiting for take off. Then I saw a teenager coming up the aisle. He caught my attention because he looked familiar, and out of place. He looked like the kind of teenager who should be hucking hay bales in hometown. He looked like the kind of quiet teenager that would be much more comfortable all alone on a mountain then on an airplane headed for Baltimore and beyond. In my head, I knew he was a cowboy. This is not a title I give lightly. True cowboys are very rare. They work on farms and ranches. They are quiet a respectful. Cowboy is a title you earn through back breaking work in sweltering heat and freezing cold, not something you buy at a Western Wear Outfitters. This was a cowboy. He nervously found his seat. Struggled with the buckles. Looked about apprehensively. Not long after, I noticed another figure coming up the aisle. I knew immediately that he would be sitting in the seat next to the Cowboy.

He was older. Well into his sixties, if not seventies. His face was lined and had a deep, permanent tan. His silver hair combed carefully. He looked just as nervous as the Cowboy, who I'm guessing was his grandson. He clutched a blue duffel that had written on it "THE SPA at ARCHWOOD" in a familiar font, circa 1986. He saw the Cowboy with relief and nodded. He
"Excuse me, ma'am"-ed himself past the flight attendant, and settled himself into the aisle seat. The Cowboy showed him how to put on his buckle. They were looking around, quickly--like chipmunks or prairie dogs.

The engines revved. I handed Thing 3 a "TAKE ONE" copy of a Herz rental car pamphlet to chew on and continued to watch what was happening directly across the aisle from me. The flight attendant stood in the aisle for the safety demonstration, and they hurried to grab the safety instructions from the back of the seat pocket in front of them.

Their first flight. A grandfather and his cowboy grandson. I wondered where they could be going. What could be so important that it would get this grandfather on a plane, after so many years. The Grandfather stood to get his blue duffel out of the overhead bin after takeoff and I noticed the tag still on his navy blue jeans. Brand new. From Walmart. I wondered if some sweet wife somewhere had bought them for him--for his trip.

And suddenly, I wanted to write again. I had something to say. Something to write about.

I was breaking through the clouds into the sunshine again.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I've missed you.

And remember that you write for yourself not for your readers, so if you really want to develop a habit of writing, just journal at night (in a paper notebook) even if you don't think you have anything "publishable," because chances are, you're having distracting thoughts and feelings, and writing them out may be therapeutic.

Take care of your sunshiney self.

eve said...

Didn't know about this! You didn't mention it over the weekend... Now I need to know where that brain of your will take it! Keep writing!

Teresa said...

Glad you're back. Love this - I love the observation of others (do that quite a bit myself), the descriptions and the fact that I can also pick a real cowboy out of the crowd. I liked that it made me wonder...

dave said...


Denise said...

I'm with Dave. Yay!!!

heather said...

ahhhhhhhhh, I love it... welcome back my friend. Take your time.

Maree said...

Yay! I've missed you! Welcome back, and don't be afraid to take your time. Will the Cowboy be in the Clementine story? I'm still wondering why Rose stayed at the neighbor's house. Glad you're back!

Christina said...

...and go!!

Can't wait to see what happens next here in your corner!

Mandi said...

Hello, Sunshine.