This winter has been the easiest for me in years. I’ve methodically incorporated wellness techniques into my schedule, including journal writing, daily gratification, a sunlamp, healthy eating (most of the time), consistent exercise, and medication. I have been efficient, productive, and social. I have been everything Western society claims one must be to achieve success.
But have I been successful? I haven’t written anything seriously my own in nearly a year. Worse than that, I haven’t wanted to write anything seriously my own. The desire to write comes sometimes, briefly, like the rank smell of cigarettes on the wind, and then drifts on by me. I write what I need to in order to get through my university courses, but my heart doesn’t settle deeply within the words like it always used to.
My lack of passion toward writing doesn’t bother me. Not really. Not on a conscious level.
But beneath the layers of my brain, down deep somewhere near the panic of dreams, I can’t stand this contentedness. Do I wish for the pain again? No, no, I could never wish for that. I could never, when for so long I begged for a life just like this one, a life in which waking in the morning and moving through the day is hardly ever treacherous, in which my biggest obstacle is rarely myself.
What I didn’t know was that this kind of life, this peace and contentedness, would take away my art.
I don’t know yet if I wish for the pain again. Pain is an easy thing to wish for when it’s only a memory. All I know is that I want my art back, and if the pain comes, I will welcome it readily, fearlessly. I will have an empty notebook and a pen with which to meet it halfway.
If you have a reason to keep living, whether it be big or small, simple or complex, send it with a photo and a brief explanation firstname.lastname@example.org. Your photo and writing will be featured on the Amber Typewriter in weeks to come!