Bad Patch

I’ve been having a bad time this last week, I don’t know why. It’s not  because I learned that that spot on my shin that I thought might cancerous actually is cancer, though just the basal cell-kind.I guess that threw me a little: no more sitting in the sun lubed up with Coppertone or that ridiculous Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. 

It’s not because I twisted my back muscles like a person making a pretend dachshund out of a bunch of party balloons either. That came from paddling too hard in a canoe. It’s not even because  avid and I worked so hard scrubbing and scouring things that we both still smelled like Pine-Sol even after two showers and a whole night’s sleep.

I think really it’s because for the last seven or eight days I haven’t been able to write with my customary joy; or in a way write at all. I mean, you see stuff here every day but every day I’m sweating bullets to get something written. I‘ve always felt that’s what Shakespeare was talking about in that one sonnet about the dead leaves. More than losing youth, or comeliness, or strength, it feels just awful when we open that drawer where we keep our special favorite thing we love to do and it’s Just. Not. There.

Yesterday I got to where back hurt too much to keep on scouring but I was too antsy to read and too anxious to nap. Finally I drove into this tourist town’s little center. I was crossing two parking lots to get from the pharmacy (SPF 40 sunscreen) to the hardware store (a fresh bucket for the Pine-Sol) when this little vista opened up. I shot 12 frames before I could get a shot that didn’t have cars zooming by between me and it but I did finally. Can you see the gentle rise of the Appalachians in the distance?  It calms me to look at them. I guess I need to remind myself to stop sometimes and try taking the long view.    

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21 thoughts on “Bad Patch

  1. Terry,
    Thanks for your openness and vulnerability. It helps to know there are others going through those same transformations that come to us all>>>>if we live long enough. Also, for sharing the importance of savoring the beauty of scenery and people that God places in our path. You folks have a wonderful day, please. 🙂

  2. I like very much the “please” at the end of this Dick, and thank you for helping me see that this is just a transformation (as every kind of death is too. Ask the caterpillar,I guess, right?) I keep seeing IN PART, THAT’s my problem1 😉

      1. “Face to face.”, makes me shiver, Terry, in expectation. No dread here, just want wisdom to make the most of each moment.:)

  3. Maybe it’s time for a blogging break….rejuvenate yourself in the summer breezes…read in a hammock…zip around in that little boat….we all love reading your entries, but not at the expense of your happiness! Be good to yourself…..no blogging pressure…..please!!

  4. We write because we love to write. Not because others love what we write.

    Writing is a gift, both given and received. The intoxicating high of crafting a single thought, idea or feeling into a simple package, wrapped with humor and a pretty bow is why we do this. Sure, the delight we see in others as they unwrap the gift we give is the remedy to our sometimes joyless endeavor. But for the lucky few who know, even if the gift is overlooked and remains forever unwrapped, it’s enough that we can offer it.

    The joy never leaves us. It just takes a vacation. Its summer, everything, even joy takes a vacation in the summer. But it always comes back…bitching and moaning about the traffic and the crowds, just like all the rest of us.

    We write because we love to write. Not because others love what we write…dude..

    1. “Dude” : We write because we love to wrote. Don’t I know it. Thanks for this lovely necklace of sentences. I also love the way you have joy returning, bitching and moaning about the traffic and the crowds… 🙂

      1. Jeez necklace of sentences is right! They nearly choked me! Hope you smooth out that rough patch Terry.

  5. You have many talents. Indulge one of the others…just for a little while. How about taking your camera and going to some wonderful place, like World’s End in Hingham? This is one of Olmstead’s best landscapes/seascapes.

    Enjoy!

  6. Other gifts, I don’t know Joan. I can translate Latin I guess, and I remember every single thing people tell me.
    I don’t even know this place you name.. I would have to take the day off to go there, but then who would tend the frog hospital? (as writer Lorrie Moore asks in the story that give her wonderful collection its title.)
    Gratias tibi ioanna

  7. There’s a world’s end here on my island too – at Ke’e Beach…..if you can’t find the one in Hingham, you can always come here…..(and – we have 50spf sunblock)

  8. Stay home…the home where your comfort arises. Home at the park where children play while their mothers gossip about the latest. Home at the corner restaurant where strangers gather as friends. Home at the mall where a hundred people pass hurrying in a hundred directions with who-knows-what on their minds.

    Leave your notebook behind for a spell. The old fashioned term is “taking a busman’s holiday.”

  9. Hi Terry, sorry to hear that you are feeling this way, my never met friend. However long you are in my life, I am thankful. I remember an ad from long ago that had a small child peering through the rear window of a pulling away school bus and there was a caption reading, “The future always comes a little before we are ready to give up the present.” So many times in my life, I have seen myself as this child. Someday all this will be a fond memory as well but for today, I value the moment and the people in it. Thanks for all you do, Chris

  10. Double that hug from Debra. It seems to me you have been on a merry go round and had worries to boot. I agree with the advice to slow down, let the writing rest for a while (isn’t that the advice they give in books for beginning writers?) and I bet when you’re not trying so hard, when you return to the work (after a really decent break), you will find your mind bursting with ideas. Just that blog about the loud angry man at the restaurant –I bet that resonated with a lot of people even if they didn’t say so. How is that basal cell being treated? Prayers, hugs and love for you.

  11. Terry, for someone with writer’s block, you write exceptionally well. For someone with sunblock, you’ll beat this little basal cell thing. Maybe you should go to Block Island. Or H&R Block. Or just take a stroll around the block. Take it from a blockhead. And keep writing. Always.

  12. I just read Jerry’s contribution and laughed out loud. I read it again and again and couldn’t stop laughing. He’s a very clever bloke.

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