This week’s Focus Pocus post is by my friend and Nia student, Sara Marks. She’d told me about her “floaties” and I loved the image. I knew she was a writer, so I asked her to guest post. The first part, I love as as an awesome depiction of recent posts: Rush the Resistance and Structure, Expression & Wasabi Peas. The second part (which we’ll post tomorrow), I just love. I hope you do, too. Thank you, Sara, for sharing your art. ~ Susan
Susan asked me to write about floaties her blog! My first reaction is complete joy and eagerness, followed almost immediately by humongous fear and resistance.
How do I explain floaties? Where would I even begin? I should just sit down and write, that typically gets my creative juices flowing. But no, I think I most assuredly need to think about it. A lot. I need to really ponder what a blog is. I’ve never written a blog. Blogs are honest. I should be honest. No, I should be funny; people will think I’m crazy if I’m honest. Who am I kidding? Who do I think I am?
Immediately, I get busy, very busy. I clean the bathroom, and there is all that laundry. I certainly can’t expect everyone to wear dirty clothes because I have to write a blog. Here’s the issue though: I want to write this. I want to feel confident and at ease enough with myself to just sit down and spill it out. All of it.
“Slip sliding away.” Thus, begins the ritual and the habit. “A good day, ain’t got no rain.” Singing to myself is part of the ritual of avoiding things I don’t want, or can’t bring myself to do. Avoiding mirrors at all costs in my house despite having to clean them. Avoiding having to look, to really look at what it is I’m avoiding.
Disappointment. I write all the time, why can’t I do this? Isn’t this what I want? What good is a writer who won’t let anyone read what they write? What good is a poet who cannot bring herself to actually show up and read her work aloud when asked? Only once in my “grown up” life have I let someone hear me read what I wrote. My father’s eulogy. It brought the house down in a funeral-y kind of way. If I had looked up, I might have seen the smiles of love and support and felt the sweet connection of grief.
For encouragement, I get out a college paper I wrote for Professor Anslement. Twenty-six papers for the man: fourteen B+s, eleven A-s, and this one, an A. I remember my millisecond of pride, the teacher who never gave As, and somehow I got one. Closely following the pride was my decision that he knew I was graduating, so it couldn’t have been real, it couldn’t have been deserved. Encouragement turned into further disappointment. Did I peak with this paper? Have I wasted myself? I cannot write this blog piece, I cannot write it because I’m afraid. I’ve let anxiety and insecurity eat up a good portion of my life. What if nobody likes it? What if nobody reads it? What if they don’t agree and the comments are mean? So before I even begin, I make the decision not to even try.
And that decision is where I actually do begin. I see how I let my floaties cut off the circulation in my arms and my spirit. I see how I put them on instinctively when faced with a challenge and begin to drift securely away.