Some days the words spin around my mind, demanding I open my mouth and gasp to let them out. Sometimes the ideas whip like angry tendrils of air from my fingertips – pages of words that take my breath away with frightening gloriousness of it all spinning before me. They dance and swirl around me. They strike my face. They dare me to reach out my hands and try to snatch them to fantastically carry my story up and away.
Other days I can’t breathe life into my thoughts. I gasp and heave but there’s no air to bring in and lift my soul. It’s like opening a car door on a hot summer’s day and feeling the hot air rush out and into my mouth and lungs, seizing out my breath with greedy claws.
There are days when I’m lost. I scream in silence. I weep tears the wind blows away.
I sink to floor and want to die because the words, the ideas, my very air, has abandoned me and how stupid can I be that I can’t even breathe a single word that won’t noisomely offend?
I need the words to breathe.
The words flutter away.
I sit at my desk and wave my hands, trying to fan the story back to me.
I leave my desk and grab pen and paper, hoping the movement of my hand writing in script will lighten the load and allow the words to gather on the page like clouds building up to crash down from above. Sometimes the words race by like contrails scoring the blue above like. Faster! Chase it down before the wind blows them into nothing once more.
Sometimes my pen taps at the blank page. What am I doing wrong? Why am I stuck?
I can feel the words in my whirling in my mind, in my heart, trying to get out. I can feel the ideas blowing about the terrain of my soul, gaining speed and power and creating a destructive funnel that wants to fling everything in all directions. But what comes out makes no sense, nothing connects with anything else.
The air around me is dead. Words haven’t flown here in what feels like forever. There isn’t isn’t the kiss of a breeze of an idea on my cheek. Where is the wind? Why isn’t it here? Even the sky is lifeless.
I can breathe, but it’s a struggle for every bit I drag into my lungs. The words can barely fill my chest to keep me alive. I can feel pieces of myself shutting down for lack of air. Crisis management on a basic level – cut off everything not vital for survival.
But the words are vital, the stories are necessary, I need the ideas to stay sane.
I beg for air. The vacuum feels tighter.
I could leave. I could find somewhere new. Perhaps I could find the words elsewhere? Perhaps I can seek them out and take them in to carry with me like a hiker does when he climbs Mt. Everest. That would work, wouldn’t it?
No. No funds to seek out new sources. No time in the schedule to squeeze in a few days or weeks for such a mission. I need to be able to go and not worry about itineraries, just follow the wind like a leaf. Like a weathervane spinning first one way then the other as the wind changes its mind on the prairie, moment by moment.
There has to be a way. The words have fly again. I have to breathe again. I can just see the ideas fluttering, caught, snagged on branches too high for me to reach without a puff of wind to blow them loose.
Air weighs less than 37 grams per 1 cubic foot, but dammit it feels as though the atmospheres are crushing me with their demands or leaving me breathless and hollow without the kiss of air. It’s supposed to be constant. It isn’t supposed to twist up into maelstroms or vanish in deadzones without rhyme or reason.
At night I lay back and try to draw the words into me, try to open myself to the ideas hovering just out of reach. Just relax, let the idea swirl above you – don’t force it. Just let it follow the eddies and currents where it needs to go.
Gentle touches sometimes taunt me. For a moment my lungs expand with delicious freedom. Excited, I turn towards into the wind, hoping to feel it against my face, wrapping itself around my body and whisper in my ears before I realize the breeze has shifted yet again and is nowhere to be found.
Dammit, dammit, dammit. I need the air. Without air I’ll go mad long before I die.
What happens if I ignore the wind? What if I look to something else? I can paint and felt and spin and weave and bead and sew and sculpt. So many projects on the list that haven’t been completed in part because the wind had captured me for what seemed only a brief moment and lifted me up to breathless heights.
Now the scant air couldn’t feed a wisp of a ghost. Now when I breathe I may as well burn my lungs on rot and stagnation.
I can work on other things. I can show the gods they don’t matter, I can create in other ways. I loose track of the things I complete with teeth and cloth and thread and scraps and…
In some ways it feels empty.
Ignore the words. Don’t look, don’t look. Pretend the words aren’t important like a treasured piece of junk you keep meaning to get rid of.
Will it work?