Throughout my childhood I had a reoccurring dream. I’d try to run but could only move in slow motion. While moving as though I were underwater, those around me functioned per usual. It wasn’t a nightmare, neither though was it positive – that dream was my first introduction to feeling powerless.
I haven’t dreamt like that for years. It’s now been replaced by writers block – I find the two comparable. Occasionally I’ll be tormented by a blinking placement bar. As though I were back in my dream, I can’t seem to move it. My efforts to type just one meaningful sentence on the screen prove futile. And meanwhile, the world around me paces on full speed.
It’s excruciating – for me, at least – to be unable to articulate an emotion or position. In the past several years, ways I once found paramount in releasing angst like the gym or bedroom have severely diminished in their diffusive benefits. No longer do they offer peace of mind – but instead have become blended into the routine emptiness of everything else.
I’m not an artist; though often I pursue projects that do make me seem as though I’m aspiring. There is a unique freedom of expression that true artists enjoy. One that seems unhindered by the many walls I’ve tempered my mind to work within. Walls that cage me into closterfobic episodes of thought. And during those episodes I feel powerless, expressionless, and find myself too overwhelmed to articulate anything…I call it writers block.
Seven years ago while backpacking through Tibet I had a snippet of wisdom translated to me that will never escape my mind. It went:
“Our minds are like muddy water, they can only clear if you give them time to settle”
Time and energy are the only resources I have. And willingly do I often spend them staring at the blinking placement bar. While it does feels suffocative, sitting there with a cloudy mind, I’ve been perpetually reminded that, in such situations, time is the only remedy.
This isn’t something I’ve found only in writing. It’s served me in all scenarios where I’ve felt like screaming but couldn’t breathe. Often, time is the one thing we need and the only thing we refuse to indulge ourselves with – and we juggernaut forward foolishly believing that activity is the only key progress.
Sitting Outside a Monastery – Chengdu, China
*Sorry that the pictures in this post were a bit dull, and the post itself rather down…much, much more fun images will be coming up later this week…it’s Halloween!