Phew. I feel better.
A friend recently checked in to tell me how much she likes my writing (thank you), but she wishes I'd write more (yeah, me too, but I think I've already sufficiently established that a) winter = death and b) my free time is now spent threatening/raising -- no, just threatening -- 2 kids). She was kind enough to forward a link to some blogger guidelines that essentially said, you must write every day. if you already write 2 hours a day, write 4. if you think you're any good, you suck. It went on and on, each commandment illuminating my failure. I was seriously getting even more down on myself than usual.
But then as magic would have it, yesterday I popped Steely Dan's Aja CD in for the ride home. Track 3, Deacon Blues:
I'll learn to work the saxophone
I'll play just what I feel
Drink scotch whiskey all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues
I remember the first time I heard that song in high school. It hit me like a shock wave. So dense, so lush, so pure. Like drowning in wonderful honey. I wrote those lyrics down in notebooks, on chalkboards, in the margins, on imaginary paper in my mind's eye. Over and over. Etched them deep in my soul. Handprints in wet cement. Maybe it was to experience their perfection as often as possible, but mostly I think it was just to imagine what it must have felt like to write something so amazing.
Write something amazing.
That's the long and short of it, isn't it? That's the goal? Because if it is, I'm not sure how routine and discipline would help. I don't care if you write every day or twice a day or think you're great but really suck. It has to mean something or it's just a waste of time.
No, I'll wait for the muse. An infinite number of monkeys with typewriters have a better chance of reproducing a catalog of Nelson songs than they do a single Deacon Blues. And don't get me started on Leonard Cohen. Kids, you're gonna need a shitload more monkeys.
•••From the "Still Others Have Content Thrust Upon Them" File:
Got a lovely letter from the University of Virginia Health System the other day. Nothing urgent, just a note asking me to confirm my health insurance. Well, I think they were asking me. The letter was addressed to Yomomma Kiggins. I'm totally not making that up. Yomomma Kiggins. Joke's on you, UVA. I don't even play the cello!
Anyway, whoever arranged for that bit of levity, thank you. Sincerely. I wasn't in a very good mood until then. You totally salvaged an otherwise lost day. I owe you (even more than I did already).
I'm gonna do something here that's guaranteed to make you hate me. If you already hate me, you'll hate me more. If you already hate me more, maybe you'll put a bullet in my head and end my suffering. But I have no choice here. This thing has found its way into our lives and it refuses to leave. The only thing I can think to do, aside from call an Exorcist and do you have any idea how much they cost? Me either, but I'm pretty sure I can't afford one, is that maybe it's like a fruitcake and the only way to get rid of it is to give it to somebody else.
That being said, please watch this video.
I understand if you want to break up with me now. It's not you, it's me. Hell, I don't even write every day so it's not like you're breaking up with a real blogger or anything.
Oh, by the way, we're less than 2 weeks away from Virginia 2.0. Got the scrip for the new CT scan, which hopefully will be scheduled for this coming Monday. And which hopefully will reveal that there is no infection to be dealt with (seriously, it's been more than a month and Ethan's had more antibiotics since Virginia 1.0 than I have in the past 10 years. I'm pretty confident that we could dip him in Love Canal circa '76 and he'd emerge unscathed. By the way, is it just me or does Love Canal sound hella dirty? Like I don't know whether to declare it a Superfund site or give it a right good spanking.)
Anyhoo, we're loaded for bear. I updated the GPS software (and will bring several printed mapquest routes, thankyouverymuchMAGELLANYOUFUCKINGIDIOTS!) so that we avoid any more unpleasantness. We've accepted the inevitability that we'll have to buy more shit from the gift shop. And that we'll have to sit in the pre-surgical consult waiting room for a few hours -- hours that could be put to better use in the hotel pool. We've made arrangements to stay at the same Marriott. We may even eat at the same restaurants (Qdoba = om nom nom!). This is so much different than the first attempt. Nerves have given way to somberness.
Odd thing: Ethan hasn't had a haircut since well before Virginia 1.0 and his hair was already pretty long back then. By now he looks like Steve Prefontaine, but without the Village People mustache. I think he's a little sensitive about his ear. I'm wondering if he'll let us cut it before our California trip.
Plus, I think I left the iron on. Back in a few.
"Well the danger from the rocks has surely passed. Still I remain tied to the mast. Could it be that I have found my home at last? Home at last." -- Steely Dan