Writer’s Block

Sometimes I feel like my brain is split in two, with one side compelled to be perfect in the eyes of academia and society and the other side wholly enamoured with the creation of art. And mostly art is writing, and mostly that writing is songwriting. I journalled through my crisis recovery at the start of 2015 and then I stopped. I stopped because college got busy and, as always, I chose academia. I stopped writing songs, I stopped writing blogs, because I ran out of time and I ran out of words. I told myself when I had time the words would come back.

I have no words. I’m sitting at my piano. I smash the keys because the notes sound wrong or derivative or boring. And the words sound cliched or too simple or too complex. You sit at the piano and you convince yourself that because you have so many feelings, you the capabilities required to turn this overwhelming web of emotion into something productive. To explain what it feels like to wash dishes and feel like this could be done in a better way, in a better place. To somehow illustrate the small piece of you that has been chipped away and stolen. To process the equally forceful desires for isolation and engagement. I have so many thoughts and not a notion as to how I can resolve them.

Why We Write

So often in my life, I have gone through periods without writing a word. No blog posts, no songs, no articles, no essays, no journals, no nothings. Zero. Zilch. Although reading is always a joy, and assignments frequently a necessity, I sometimes see little point in engaging in such an elective activity, particularly when I am tumultuously busy. In the last fortnight, I have been fervently journalling and banging out chords on my piano, as well as tentatively recommenced with blog posts. What has changed? Primarily, I have nothing but time right now, but that’s hardly the point. I wonder, as evidenced by the plethora of blogs, books, ballads, and bands at our disposal, why it is that we are compelled to express, to create, to write?

We exist. We survive. We do what is necessary to withstand the world. We build high, thick walls, which emotions, cumbersome and loaded, are unable to break through. And so in this ineptitude of basic human expression, we turn to alternative means. The pages which fit through the cracks. The harmonies that float around the fortress. The rhymes and rhythms and rondos and ritenutos that explain the overwhelmed self far more clearly than our anxious, disorganised minds could ever articulate. Writing is catharsis. Art allows us to endure, even when the product is not particularly inspiring. The blank page wilfully takes the haphazard array of post-it notes on the board of my mind without judgement, and sits with me consolingly as I blindly try to make sense of them.

We write to inform, to impact, to interest and idealise and intimate. Even if it is only to ourselves. These songs, these musings, these diary pages, these blog posts; they are self conscious and meaningless and rarely see the light of day. But the simple act of articulating, asking yourself “What is happening? What am I doing? What in the world does any of this mean?” – these private moments guide us, presenting mini epiphanies and bursts of awareness in the most trying times in our lives.

In the last ten days, I have learnt so much from my scrawled musings. Simple things that are a given to so many have taken these twenty two years to hit home. I am starting to realise that I am not stuck with the choices I make now for the next forty years. I am trying to remember that plans change, and that’s okay. I am understanding that responsibility is the cost of freedom and choice, but that it is worth the undertaking. January has been a difficult, horrible, awful month, as months go. But writing has helped, and writing will continue to help, and in the face of emotion (blunted and painful and otherwise), I write.

 

First Verses From Songs About Boys

1. He lives his life a tightrope/ His secrets are not there to behold/One anarchy stop sign won’t change his mind/His lips are blue from the cold

2. Where is my conviction?/I lost it somewhere on the borderline/Terms of endearment you whisper so frequently/You make the dinner/I pour the wine

3. You know the shores of Zambia/And the Pacific Sea/You know the waves of Donegal/But you don’t know me

4. I like your suit and tie/And your hazel green eyes/The way you stroke my hair when I cry/You like my adipose/And my 50s style clothes/The way I bypass your lips for your nose

5. Why do I think about you?/It’s a crime the time I waste each day/So do you know how much I love you?/I guess I will try to say goodbye

1. You are my muse/The things you do/Drive me crazy you are such an asshole/Love comes at a price/I am the mothering type/Your own Oedipus complex

4. He is the moon/Reflecting this light/Controlling tides of revelations/Night fades away/Dawn raises a glass/To the sun and escalation of day

1. The first convulsion wasn’t as sharp a shock/I just need a little air I’ll be fine/Drink up your pity/Intoxicating as dependency and beer and wine

2. All I need is your bones/I never get my fill/The life support is your sacrifice, your moans/I’m living for the chase, the thrill

4. You want my touch, my taste/But I’ve given it away/To the disillusioned, the frantic and the poor/And behind those green eyes/Desire fades away/To frustration/Resignation/Another hour to endure

1. The landscape’s very Tolkien/In your sleeping beauty tale/With the princess of obscurity/And a boy who’s getting laid

2. You are stoned/You are alone/And it makes sense/After all those years that you spent on the fence/You cheat, you lie/I rationalise, I cry/Maybe we work because we both want to die

Attitudes and Discrimination in Ireland’s Healthcare System

We are taught why we shouldn’t judge people for their conditions, their addictions, how they look and where they come from, but there is never a point made about not judging people for who they love.

Maybe I’m just sensitive because I’m an insider. Maybe I’m still sore that when my lecturer mentioned that people can’t change their demographic, besides gender in a few cases, everybody laughed. I still don’t get what was so funny.
The health system, and bureaucracy in particular, has a habit towards heterosexism. Admission forms require a marital status, of which civil partnership is not an option. My midwife friend has reported an expectant mother filling her form to indicate that her partner would be raising her child with her, only for it to be changed to “single mother” by staff when it was revealed that her partner was a woman.

Read the full article at Gaelick.

101 in 1001: Send A Handwritten Letter

I love getting letters. Especially before you hit the age of receiving bills and other adult related ickies, getting post is one of the most exciting things ever. I had penpals from India and America when I was 9 and I always loved finding out about their lives and their culture. I loved going to the post office and getting expensive stamps and par avion stickers. Even then, I just really loved to write.

In the 10 years since my avid posting, snail mail isn’t really a thing anymore. I get occasional letters from college and the bank and that’s about it. Then Autostraddle came to the rescue!

Autostraddle started their Autostraddle Airmail program which basically just sets you up with a penpal who is as into AS as you are. Awesome 🙂 So now I have a pen pal in Namibia who’s interests are disturbingly similar to mine considering the only info I provided was my name, age and address.

Huzzah for stationery, stamps, pretty pens and making new friends.