Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"

Robert Frost had it nailed.  I doubt he and I were looking at the world in the exact same way, but great minds do think alike, so MAYBE.  In case you're unfamiliar with the poem (ummm, WAKE UP), I'll paraphrase it..."Nature's first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold.  Her early leaf's a flower, but only so an hour...so dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay."  I'm drawing a blank on the part about the leaf and Eden sinking to grief, but you get the idea.  My apologies, Mr. Frost. 

Okay, so the poem's about nature, but like so many of my dear friend Robert's poems, only at first glance.  A peaceful walk in the woods turns into an allegory for making life decisions, just as this one appears to be about flowering buds turning to leaves and glorious sunrises turning into an ordinary day.  It's not, though...what he really meant to say is that lots of stuff is really damn fantastic at the beginning, and for a while.  But as time passes, it's not so hot anymore and stuff is just...there.  We stop appreciating it, and it becomes part of the background, like furniture.  I'm getting somewhere with this, I promise.  I'm really trying hard not to chase this one down rabbit trails and stay on topic, so bear with me.  Look, rabbits and bears...I can make stuff about nature, too.  (Suck it, Robert!)

What it all boils down to is that I'm stuck in limbo right now.  Basketball, and the over-the-top excitement of this season is over, at least for me.   Winter is over (sort of...there was still snow outside this morning), but spring hasn't started yet, at least not for real.  The school play that I was so philosophical about just weeks ago is still a work in in progress, and that's just happening--it's nothing fantastic or exciting, or even inspirational, like I thought it might be.  We're heading to the lake Friday morning for the first time this year, and all I can think of is having to clean up the place after the winter.  All of these things were bright and shiny at one point, but they've lost their luster. 

I need to do something different.  Or do I mean that I need to do something differently?  It's not the same thing....aaaaaaand, there's the struggle, the conflict we all knew was coming.  Is there anything wrong with the things that I'm doing, or am I just doing them wrong?  Whoa.  It's damn near impossible for me to learn how to do things differently.  I just don't have the ability to paint a rosy picture and look at things that are half-empty as half-full.  I wish I did, and I'm jealous as hell of people that can.

So here's my different thing.  I want to write a book.  I want to have a home office where I can sit and be comfortable and do my thing.  It's not this room, for sure--the clutter and the cracks in the walls mess with my mojo.  But that's neither here nor there.  I have wanted to do this for a long time...years.  So what stops me?  I can't hide away in my office for hours on end, to start with one very basic concern.  There is life to worry about, after all.  What else stops me?  Fiction, memoir, short stories...all have their appeal.  I could write a memoir a la Running with Scissors, for sure.  There's plenty of stuff there to write about, but do I dredge it all up and a) have to deal with it and b) make a lot of people really, really angry in the process?  So, we're back to fiction, perhaps based on and inspired by true life?  Also dangerous.  Fiction that I totally make up and has no bearing on my life whatsoever?  Requires research.  See?  It's all too overwhelming. 

What probably really stops me more than anything is the "nothing gold can stay" philosophy.  For the longest time, it's been my ideal, my dream (although that makes me want to barf, so let's not say that).  What happens when I try and decide it's not all it's cracked up to be?  Or worse yet, I try and...fail.  Then what? 

1 comment:

Tobye said...

If you figure out how to get started on that book, let me know. I've been battling that one for years too. I like to say I don't have time, but I know that is just my excuse...