The other day it rained for the first time in over five weeks. The ground was cracked and dry, and dust clung to every surface--trees, cars, houses, people. Over the years I've come to realize that as disaster zones go, I'm far better suited to floods than drought. Maybe it's because I'm a Pisces, or maybe it's just that I've lived in a place that boasts an annual average rainfall of over 60" per year for pretty much my entire life. Either way, the rain was very welcome.
I stood outside and watched it fall like a benediction. It was soft and warm, washing the land with loving hands that caressed, and reassured. Everything will be alright. Here, rest. Drink.
I'm writing again, after a long, hot summer of not much to speak of. It was the obligations of family and garden, certainly, but also the same burden many writers are suffering under--the crushing distractions of 24-7-365 disaster news headlines, demoralizing political ridiculousness, and a constant barrage of social media flame wars. Just when you think things can't get any worse, ten more horrible things happen and your phone beeps twenty times with customized notifications to make sure you're aware of every blistering detail. It's overwhelming and exhausting, day in and day out. I can't help but think that any small thing I create is either useless against such an assault, or just another tiny voice lost in the roaring din. Some days I can bear it. Some days (more of this type lately) I just can't.
Still, most writers will tell you that they write because they have to. Money, sure, but it's something deeper than that. I've always written, whether someone was paying me or not, whether my world was falling apart or not. And for better or worse, I always will. Honestly, writing things down is the only thing that keeps me sane some days.
So I'm trudging through the novel outline (the part I hate more than anything, because I have to admit to myself that I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen), and writing poems and bits of stories and sending stuff out. I'm in the planning stages of a chapbook or two, maybe a full-length book of poetry. I'm putting one foot in front of the other, and doing what I do.
That's the plan, at least until the Yellowstone Caldera blows.
Until then I'll just continue on, waiting for the rain.