Monday, May 26, 2008

The Slog

Some days, like today, I struggle for inspiration. I have so many things to do—a book to write, a outline to send to Yancey, even a day job to catch up on.

And I just can't. I pace around, water my tomato plant, procrastinate on Facebook. Anything is better than facing the muses. My brain is too dull to entertain even my own self. Guilt eventually intercedes, which means that not only am I feeling boring and lazy, but now also guilty for my lack of productivity.

Then I flee. Yesterday to my bicycle. The day before to yoga. Today to the edge of the Hudson River.

"Where is Marie?" I wonder. "Where is the hard-working, dynamic, gutsy gal, and how do I get her back on demand? She's always elusively come and gone, but she's been gone for too long. I need her now. She has a book to write."

Instead of finding my happier self down by the water, I am taunted by the Manhattan skyline. I am over here, where I exiled myself on purpose. Over there, I would feel vibrant simply by going to the corner deli. Have I perhaps been in exile too long?

But changes of scenery offer only temporary fixes. I know this because when I travel alone, I remember to be alive. Nimbleness of mind, an open heart, and brazen confidence come easily when I'm away from my usual trappings. But that doesn't last. I always come home to routine, and every time I come back, I find I've lost a little more of my home life while I've been gone.

There's no way around it. Muse or no muse, Dull Marie or Lively Marie, JC or the East Village. Gotta slog through it.

Maybe my pocket hippo can help.


Don said...

Whenever I am in a funk, I find the words of America's own Larry the Cable Guy inspiration enough to get me back on track ... "Get 'er done, half try!"

Steve Buccellato said...

I often get the same feeling, working at home, by myself. Sometimes I blame it on the lack of a real urban experience here in West Los Angeles, but i think that's just an excuse. A change of scenery sometimes works, but I think that the real missing element is human interaction. We ned to put ourselves in situations that challenge us to mingle with and observe people in a substantive way. That's where inspiration hides.

When you are the traveling "fish out of water," it's easy to put yourself in these challenging situations. The trick is to find ways of doing it within the context of "regular life" as well. Otherwise, your travels are just an escape from "real life," as opposed to being part of your life.

That's my opinion!

Marie Javins said...

I agree completely.

Which is why I'm staying home these days. I have to wait it out, make it all work.

Linda said...

Get more sunshine! After all, it's spring.
And get enough sleep. (Yeah, I should talk.)
Eat chocolate. But only a little.


Marie Javins said...

'Fraid I got a bit carried away with the sunshine on my bike ride day. A little red...