This morning, after a fitful sleep, I opened my eyes. I didn’t like what I saw. Another day of fb, Twitter and Instagram. All demanding my time. And even more foreboding . . . another blog. Anything but that! Not today. I have nothing to say. Then I began to see words. Millions of them scattering across my mind, dancing in some sort of native frenzy about my head. Even as I wished them away, I felt compelled to order them. To choreograph their movement. But then a bitter thought came. Isn’t that what I do every day? Write, direct and order words? I put the pillow over my head. No. I wasn’t suicidal. I just wanted to block out the light. Am I going nuts or is this what they call writer’s burn-out?
I closed my eyes again, willing all those pesty little letters to go away. It didn’t work. Words began to madly march across the screen of my inner eyelids. Words of all different sizes, colors and tones. Go away!
At this point, I must say . . . In the heart of a writer, words are either friend or foe. On a good day, I love them. I collect them like thousands of tiny treasures, to be ordered and arranged, and then dispersed to the four winds; released to bring messages of joy or despair. Today it’s not joy. But, let’s not get too serious. It’s normal to have an occasional blue day. But knowing this doesn’t make it much better. That’s why I had trouble getting out of bed today.
As I laid there, the bag of feathers still over my head, a thought came to me. My eyes popped open and I cast off the pillow. Pure Genius! Today I will take a holiday from words. In fact, the entire weekend. I will not read. I will not type. Not even with green eggs and ham, I won’t. Instead, I will listen. I jumped out of bed with renewed purpose.
And here I am. Typing. But not for long. With a hurricane on the way, it’s the perfect time to declare a strike from reading; a break from all technology, hoarders of relentless tiny digits. Letters. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. Articles. Enough!
What perfect timing. With a hurricane on the way, how exciting it will be to watch, and listen to the wind whipping through the trees, the raining pelting the earth. If the electricity stays on, I will listen to music. Lots of melancholy vibes. And before the storm, there will be other sounds too think of. How long has it been since I’ve listened for birds chirping? For the summer crooning of crickets or the vibrating murmur of Cicadas. Ahh, this is sounding better and better.
Yes. Today, I will speak the language of sounds instead of words.
Will I miss them? Maybe a little. But, after writing a 100,000-word crime thriller, I need to look at something beyond the glare of my computer screen.
Now, as I type away, I’m realizing— This is why we take vacations. We need a break from our everyday world. Even if we love it. Too much of a good thing.
By Monday, I’m sure I’ll be missing the entire alphabet. In their absence, I’m sure I’ll have nurtured a new passion for the little guys. And after a weekend of word fasting, I can see myself running to the computer, eager to type hundreds of them; to watch them gladly lining up like a colorful parade across the screen.
But not today. On the shelf they go. Except for my daily devotional . . . On second thought, not even that. A fast is a fast. Instead . . . I’ll pray. And listen.
Today, words are not my cup of tea. In fact, a hot cup of coffee and some jazz music sound sublime. And now . . . for the silence of the word.