I’ve been neglecting this blog even more of late, since I’ve been dedicating a lot of energy and attention–the little that remains at the end of most days–to my professional blog, Schools as Ecosystems. Unfortunately, my personal life in general has taken a big backseat to my professional life, and I can sense my creative capacity withering as a result.
In one way, I like losing myself in my work. It keeps me positive, focused, and motivated. I’ve been making some great connections with like-minded people. But I also feel that there is a danger in losing my sense of self and keeping myself grounded and focused on the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is god or nothing or all-is-one or whatever moniker we can come up with to rationally address something wholly irrational.
One way I’ve been trying to maintain my centeredness is through daily meditation. I get up at 5 and sit for 20 – 30 minutes, and this helps me to prepare for the stressful day that ensues.
But for most of my life, writing has been a necessary form of self-therapy, an outlet for catharsis, reflection, and discovery. In some senses, my professional writing performs these functions, but as excited as I am by my nerdy quest to create a new lens for education reform, the reality is that I need to write–just to write–to focus within and shed, or transmute, some of the psychic detritus of my daily existence, and to keep myself rooted.
To face the void that sits before me, the blank screen, and to charge myself with scribing words across that vast space, is a terrifying thing. It is belittling, it is demeaning, to sit and stare, fingering keys and knowing that nothing I could possibly ever say will be good enough, complete enough, to encompass the utter magnitude of one moment entire. Perhaps the proper word is humbling. This is why, I’m sure, my ego rears and kicks and strains to be elsewhere, anywhere, captivated in mindless consumption, reading Twitter, watching a show on TV. It takes humility to recognize in written form the great nothingness that is one self. To know that one self is nothing except as a part and parcel of one whole–that any accomplishment that one could possibly achieve is a mere subsidiary of a stream that is falling headlong into itself to realize itself as the ocean. Eventually, however, words must be chosen and strewn across the screen. And in the breadth of a sentence, perhaps, a glimmer, a sheen, a reflectant hue of the truth may lie. One can only hope.
It is the rush of words, the passionate night embrace of a drunken beauty that all too often ends solely in lonely morning, that drives the written dirge. The swelling of the tongue, the Dostoevskyian splay in the struggle to voice an ideal, the Wintersonian sexing of a passion for what can never fully be captured–it is this bloody, full-throated play that compels my quest to wrestle the unknown into this, ullage of words.
I will return to this space to spackle some more of my life here again. Because it is of necessity that writing occurs.