“Poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger”… journaling out the crap.

I’m in the dark here!

Those words (from Scent of a Woman) are playing in my mind over and over.  I’m in a slump, a funk, a bottom-ing out.  And I can’t “see.”

I have lost “the point” of my art.  My writing, my research.  I have lost “the it.”  The edge of it.

I have been in this spot before.  Many times.  And it SUCKS.  It happens when flattened by a flu, stressors, external/internal forces.  But in this past year, consumed by Monday to Friday work (fully in gratitude, mind you, for the work)- the passion, I admit, slowly bleeding out– I am feeling unusually exhausted and deflated.

Intellectually, I know the answers- let go, take care of yourself, trust the process, allow, trust spirit… yeah yeah.  But the “fun” and drive is gone.  I create every day- be it a stitch, a line, a collage, a word.  That hasn’t stopped.  But what is missing is the inner glow about it.  It’s just a chaotic mishmash.

I feel annoyed, resentful and irritated.  At myself.

I draw, hang it up, and have to stop myself from dumping it all in the bin.  Is my art just for me, or is it meant to take me to a new place of sustained, creative existence?  Am I thinking big enough, am I not cocky enough, am I thinking too big, am I too hopeful?

If I want to say something in my art, why don’t I just say it?  Pick up pen and make the marks I long to make.  I feel silly.  Very silly.  What makes me think I have something profound to say?  Instead, a massive wave of exhaustion sweeps over me.  But, hey, as always, I do another stitch.

I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend.  During visiting hours, I enter its room with dread and sympathy for its many disorders.  I hold its hand and hope it will get better.  This tender relationship can change in a twinkling.  If you skip a visit or two, a work in progress will turn on you.  A work in progress will turn feral.

– Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Steeping in amniotic fluid.  I look back over my strange life, knowing I have done the best I could in the moment, caring, nurturing, learning, doing, just living.  Always trying.  Trying to figure it out.  But has it been done well?  I don’t know.

Maybe I need to just shut the fuck up and let whatever happens, happen with my art.  But- I don’t know.  I am kind of sick of that.  I feel pissed off at myself– for not having the energy to rise above the drain of work to be able to pursue… what?

Is it just input and rest that I need?  To read more.  I sit in the tub and wonder.  Fall asleep when reading.


Then I look up from the tub and I see this face, and all comes back to what is important.  The now.  Just my beating heart.  And hers.  To the profoundness of nature.  Joy.  The point.

Yesterday, I walked in the park, birdwatching.  Feeling waves of peace and happiness flow over me.

Yesterday, I napped with my cats.

Today, I recuperate energy.  Rejuvenated, I vomit these words out.  To purge.  To get back on track.


The line of words peels them back, dissects them out.  Will the bared tissue burn?  Do you want to expose these scenes to light?  You may locate them and leave them, or poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger, and write with that blood.  If the sore spot is not fatal, if it does not grow and block something, you can use its power for many years, until the heart resorbs it.

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

One comment

  • Love your art! hope you feel better… get recharged… maybe let it all go for awhile and travel!

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *