I have spent the better part of today dancing around the things that don’t get said. Or, in this case, written. I have written in my notebook, on my phone, on an ipad and now here, in bed beside my sleeping child. I have crafted phrases and lines and moved words around to get them just so. But I could not get them to fit, to settle onto the page. And none of them are ready for public consumption. They’re just not ready. But this feels like a copout. I feel like I am on top of the treetop pole and I just won’t jump.
When I was 19, I was hired to be a camp counselor at a fabulously hippie camp in Ithaca, New York. Part of our staff development training prior to the campers arrival was a “bonding” trip to a ropes course. I was uncomfortable and afraid of heights. Full disclosure, I was uncomfortable in a harness that was clearly designed to enhance my derrière (which I was constantly trying to avoid acknowledging even existed) and then haul said derriere up a pole with witnesses having an optimal vantage point. But I did put on the harness. And I did climb to the top of the pole. And then…I climbed back down. I couldn’t do it. I had gotten up there and raised my body to full standing height and all I needed to do was jump. Everyone was waiting. And cheering. And watching. But I couldn’t actually let my feet leave the tenuous safety of the pole and trust that the skilled counselors below and fate would ensure my survival. I couldn’t do it. So I climbed down. I failed.
I am almost 49 years old tonight and I still feel like I’m on top of that pole. So, I’ll leave the title of the unpublished blog here, to remind me that tomorrow I can try again. Tomorrow I can jump.
The blog that still hasn’t been written: ““I need inspiration…Partners.”
12 thoughts on “Elusive Words”
What a perfect metaphor! Your post resonated with me. Except if I found myself inside your metaphor, I might stay up on the post so long I’d be too tired to climb down. 😉
I’m right there with you on the top of that pole. The good news is, we are all there with you, and we can jump together.
I could relate to all of this! I have found that I like to have a few ideas in a document and I might work a bit on one or two each day plus whatever slice I’m really planning to publish that day. That way, even the slice I’m working on just can’t be pulled together, I do have another idea I’m working on that might be pulled together more quickly. Some pieces just need a longer percolation time. I loved the way the metaphor worked so well as a little slice itself and then also as an expression of those feelings about writing.
When I work with teachers and they tell me of their student(s) who are “stuck” I suggest they prompt the student to write about not having an idea to write about. Teachers laugh, but kids LOVE this and it creates amazing and creative pieces! I just might use your piece as a model for teachers!
And, by the way, I haven’t even put on the harness, and I have been to the course three times!
Happy you are here and are risking and writing. May the force continue to be with you!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I think you have found your inspiration.
I used to work on the ropes course at a summer camp and loved it although I am not a fan of heights. My best inspirations for blogging have come from others’ posts. Start a list of all the posts you like and try out their style. I just found another one tonight that I am adding to my list.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I love your metaphor. Partly because it’s so true that that’s what posting is like, but also partly because I can relate so much to your story. I worked at a fabulously hippie camp in Michigan where I went to a ropes course and climbed up….and climbed down instead of jumping. Your writing is beautiful. I imagine that even if the piece you’ve been working on isn’t perfect, it will be a pleasure to read, because your word smithing is so delightful in this piece. I can’t wait to read what you write tomorrow!
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is an important piece of writing. I’m glad you put this out there in the world today.
Please know that SOL should be first-draft writing. Go ahead and proofread it, but know that it doesn’t need to be perfectly polished.
I think I know that in my head…my “publishing” finger seems to think otherwise!
I agree- beautiful piece and so, so honest. How many of us choose to write about a moment like that in our past? But it emerged as your metaphor. I hope as you read and comment on others’ writing this March, that you will lightnen up on that “publish” button finger. Relax, take a few risks, put out a few not-so-great posts, like all of us :). And then in April be amazed.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Please trust this SOL community! I hope you can hear us all chanting, Jump! Jump! Jump!