A WEEK OFF
I sit here this late morning hour of 7:30am having slept until 7:00 this morning, a virtual record for me. And sleep I did, what a deep REM awesome sleep, almost meditative. I sit her in the electric sunlight, birds chirping, barely a breeze, surrounded by a manicured lawn of an eighteen hole golf course in two lawn chairs my partner plopped in the driveway basically looking like the Clampetts from the Beverly Hillbillies. But I don’t care. This is yet another super wealthy neighborhood and no one is outside, barely a player on the TPI golf course my grandfather’s house sits on in sunny and magnificent Siesta Key. I have been coming here for respite for over twenty five years and it feels like my own winter home by now and as a matter of fact, visiting my grandfather is like visiting a parent that I never had, there is comfort. I can freely roam in the house, in the kitchen, help myself to cooking and cleaning out the fridge like my fantasy world I should have lived in with my mother who I may have had a solid relationship with.
My many writings have sung the praises of my connection to my Grandparents and especially this past four years since my Grandfather had his stroke, the relationship as grown to a deeper level I never thought possible.
Last week was an unintentional week off from writing- it just kind of happened. The pattern of almost daily writing has been like a security blanket coating me with fluffy protection soothing my mind and allowing me the gift of full escape. Writing has become a deep friendship and writing solidly for over a year gives me my morning meditation to start the day.
Last week I began working on the piece THE WORD WEIGHT and for the first time since I started writing on Medium I came to a screeching halt, well opposite of the screeching halt, I couldn’t stop the piece and I couldn’t end it, it just kept going, yet it was unfinished and winding, taking detours all over the place as the words entered and exited my swirly brain. The piece wouldn’t finish. On the outside, I was too busy, overscheduling my week before my trip with an inordinate amount of appointments and work related paperwork. Owning my own company provides a great freedom, but it also requires a lot of extra attention when I decide to take a break from it. Like cleaning your house before you go on vacation, there are those loose ends that must be tied up in a neat Type A little bow so when you return, relaxed and refreshed there are no dishes in the sink to confront you.
Training a new team, meetings with leadership, placing orders, paying bills, making sure that all entries are in and updated, not to mention the books I was trying to finish so I could return to the library and the Jewish Film Festival I wanted to get to in the pulse of the week. Oh and did I mention I decided to do a weeklong detox in the midst of all of this. The only extra part of my regular routine that saved me was that the detox didn’t want me to do any vigorous exercise for the week as it was partially reparative or something like that. I just listened to my body and the instructions and was a better student because of it. I can say I didn’t have the time to write, but since I regularly wake up at five am, there was plenty of time in the wee hours of the sunlit morning to bring my pen to paper. I started THE WORD WEIGHT and for the first time since I climbed on the magic carpet writing ride, I became a bit stuck.
Writing forms its own story. I may start off with one idea and as I move through the piece, allowing the words to find me, the story and what I am trying to say unfolds and presents itself often surprising my initial first paragraph where it all started just a short time before. I have developed in my writing over the last year and a half; my skills have sharpened, my vocabulary and use of words have grown and I am a much more confident writer. There is a definitive rhythm to writing, a feeling in a sentence, in a period or italic placement that makes writing feel like a unique piece of art. Writing has become my personal yoga meditation, my zen space. It has helped me become more disciplined as the free formed words start to unveil themselves and find their way into some sense of colorful order. Some writings are one hundred piece puzzles and some are one thousand pieces taking more time to patch together.
This week of detox got me thinking about body image and self talk. The title began as something different, instead of THE WORD WEIGHT, It was THE WORD FAT. It didn’t feel right, as I thought about it, I decided the use of the word is offensive bringing up a dictionary full of words that basically make people feel bad. I surely didn’t want to offend anyone by implying there is any negative connotation if in fact they were overweight as defined by anyone who had any consciousness about their own struggles with their weight, no matter what the scale says. Once I changed the title, the story took off down a briar filled path with thorns and snakes at every turn. One thought led to another and before I knew it I was four pages in without saying much on the surface, yet coated with layers upon layers of what festered underneath. It was not pretty, but raw and vulnerable and embarrassing and frank. It sat in my laptop beckoning me in one breath and exhausting me in another and I struggled to clean it up, to make it lighter, kinder, but it had a mind of its own and simply wouldn’t allow me to sugarcoat. The story is undeserving of this, it doesn’t require Mr. Clean to come in and dig the dirt out of the grout, those pesky black flecks that sit stubbornly in the porosity of the tile like the raw truth in a woman’s mind filled with over forty years of jibber jabber of weigh talk. I had to put the proverbial pen down as each sentence came rolling off my tongue. The word came barreling out like eating a bag of chips while perusing a website and before you know it the bag is gone and the only thing you can recall is the salty goo on your fingertips.
Weight talk is the startling reality of many in my peer group. And it is becoming a startling reality in their daughters peer groups too. The talk about weight, food, scale, diet though the frequency of it is often unspoken, it sits there pulsing inside until someone pipes up the words and the cat is out of the bag.
I did finish the piece and posted it before this one and my writing has started up again proving that when something needs release, it is the process and the patience with it that often moves it upward and outward. This is the joy of my own writing process, my own therapy and growth and I am never tired of the end result of the work despite the time it took me to get there.