For the past couple of
weeks months, I have been suffering from some pretty intense writer’s block. My desktops — both real and virtual — are littered with sticky notes of story ideas. I keep pulling scraps of paper with blog titles scribbled on them out of my bag. My journal is full of outlines or disjointed chunks of stories. But every time I try to put a pen to paper, the words just do not flow. The ideas are floating around in my brain, but I cannot grab on to one long enough to mold it into a fully fleshed-out story.
So I’m going to write through it. Write until the tap is unstoppered and the words flow freely again. That’s what this post is — an exercise in plumbing. I’m probably not going to say much of interest or substance. It’s definitely not going to be well-formulated. But you’re welcome to read along.
I’m writing from one of my new favorite places in Seattle, a park near my house that, on a clear day, has a stunning view of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier. The neighborhood I live in may not be super happening, and it may be full of families with small children, but damn, what it lacks in hip-ness it more than makes up for in views.
It’s been sunny in Seattle all week, which is, I’m told, an anomaly for November. As one person in my improv class put it, there’s been a high accumulation of sky this week. However, without the cloud cover, it’s been about 10 degrees colder than normal. That’s fine by me; I’ll take cold weather if it means an excessive accumulation of sky. Even if I can only enjoy the sky and sun on my short walk to the bus stop in the morning. By the time I leave work in the evenings, it’s completely dark, but in the mornings, it is perfect. I walk down the hill, straight towards the snow-capped Olympics, and as I walk over the overpass, I look over my should to a beautiful view of the Cascades, with Mount Rainier looming over the skyline.
My improv class ended this week, or I should say my improv class went on an eight-week hiatus this week. What started out as a whim has become something I look forward to each Wednesday night. Unfortunately Improv 102 doesn’t start until late January, so I’ve got several empty Wednesday nights in the near future. Class ended in an appropriately weird fashion, with a trip to a tiki-themed karaoke bar that specializes in over-priced, watered-down cocktails. Cringed in pity when a classmate got suckered into singing Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” with an incredibly drunk stranger. Nearly died of laughter when my instructor chose to perform Bubba Sparxx’s “Miss New Booty.” Sang my face off when someone else performed Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died.” It’s going to be a long eight weeks until 102 starts.
At work, I have been honing previously acquired skills and have developed new ones. Got to indulge in one of my strongest skills, editing academic papers. I don’t know why, but I loved editing papers and making them flow better. It might be because I’m a Type A perfectionist, or because I have internalized grammar rules, or because I just love engaging in all parts of the writing process.
I’ve also become numerically literate in Farsi. I have been tasked with reading and translating data on Iranian health expenditure. Here’s a glimpse of my everyday:
As a result, I have also spent a lot of time wondering why Iranians write their words from right to left, but their numbers from left to right. May not always be the case, but it is in what I’m working on.
Okay, I have written, which is what I aimed to do. Storytelling it is not. Nor is it particularly focused or well-organized. It is words on a page, however. Snapshots of my life. But now I’m not sure how to end it, because it is just life, and that is how life is. I do, however, really like the phrase “an accumulation of sky.”