Life of Carmen

Fear of writing

I haven’t posted for a while and this is why: I am terrified of writing. I know that writing is what I need to do more than anything, to lay down faint traces of my one precious and fleeting life. I can’t go through all this hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing for nothing, right? I have stuff to say. And yet, I get frozen. I lose my voice. It’s corny how clever we humans are at ducking the one thing that we know more than anything that we absolutely must do, or die. We succumb to the bitch of resistance, the Mara of distraction. I know that bitch well, as I do everything, anything, but that.

Writing is what I have not been doing, here on this tiny rock in the Salish Sea which is now, at summer’s peak, vibrating with seasonal mania. I am working at Hollyhock as Manager of the Resident Service Program (volunteers) and also Manager of Hosting (2 jobs in one yo). It is relentless, chalenging work, and I love it. I feel honored by the trust given to me by this brave organization, and the solid support of my co-workers. Damn it, this is what I’ve prayed for — challenging right livelihood, that calls forth my dharma every moment of every day. The rub is that the work is all-consuming — or rather, I allow it to consume me. Days off are dedicated to rest, to laundry, to emptying my toilet and compost, to polishing the pine boards of my schoolbus with Murphy’s Wood Soap. I rarely go out, and feel chronically shy. Busy busy – avoiding, avoiding. Doing everything, anything, but write.

I miss my teachers and my sangha sisters. I miss my brother, I miss my friends. My partnership is in sad tatters. I’m grieving and I am lonely. August is the month of death. What dies is waiting to be reborn. What next, what now? Not knowing. Not writing.

But wait.

What’s this?

One Commnet on “Fear of writing

  1. O dear I’m sorry you’ve hit some kind of obstacle. I’ve had a similar crisis and for me it brings on such shame, how can this happen with all my Buddhist knowledge, and cycling experience. And the love of your life has also turned pear shape. When I was cycling in your neck of the woods , I ended up at the Buddhist monastery near Kamloops . It’s a wonderful place to do serious meditation and the Abbot is very wise and supportive. As I was just visiting I just gave a donation but I’m sure money isn’t an issue.

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