Deep Thoughts, Ouch

I’ve been feeling mentally handicapped lately. I often feel that I am sort of in the clouds. That could be a good thing. It may mean I’ve mellowed.

I’m happy in this life with Frank. Oddly enough, for the economic perils that seem to be looming for the country, I am living well and doing better financially than I ever have.

I try and sort out the elements that make me feel as if my brain isn’t firing on  all cylinders. I try to decipher just what has changed.

Is it some sort of physiological thing? A fog upon the synapses?

Have I lost the ability to analyze, to compare and contrast in a meaningful way? Could I manage to pull together a coherent statement on a particular subject. Could I write an essay with any depth if my life depended on it?

I write for a living and that often causes me to question my metal capacity. The full-time writers at work are always embarked on nut-crushing projects most of which seem really pretty boring but necessary.

I used to drive myself crazy trying to manufacture the will to come up with stories I could tackle but I’m just too odd. My tastes are not mainstream. They run to the strange, the sexual, the esoteric and I’m only really good when I can become fully engaged with my subject matter.

Besides I finally decided to take my part-time status very seriously. I’m pretty sure my boss thinks I’m a wanker, a dunderhead. That’s okay. By the time I come to work she’s got her steady producers doing 99 percent of the work. I’m there to fill in and mop up when the news overflows. I can handle that.

The only two people who would have inspired me to great work were off my case just months after I took this position and that was years ago. I think losing them took the wind out of my sails.

Big, sloppy gales of change turned the direction of my little ship. Still I always feel, despite my doubts, that I end up walking the right path no matter how far down a wretched road I have wandered at times.

I hear other professional writers converse on radio programs, on tv shows. They sound so smart, so coherent in their expression. Some tackle projects of great depth. Mark Morford writes a kick-ass essay every week for the Chronicle, making rad observations about worthy subjects with a sense of humor and a decent dash of earnest concern for humanity.

I used to regularly write essays, heavy scholarly pieces for classes at the university. I wrote “A” papers in graduate level film history classes. My favortie teacher said he saved my papers for last because they were so interesting and he loved my writing so much. A beautiful Cuban film scholar called me an iconoclast and it was a compliment. That was 15 years ago. Have I gone so long without really challenging my brain that it has begun to atrophy? And do I need the potential of another bright persons approval before I can deliver the goods?

Am I just overwhelmed by my current reality? The world is spinning frantically. It seems big changes are on the way. I have been watching alot of MSNBC while doing art projects. I’ve absorbed all the angst and crap of a truly crazy election season. I’ve been slimed by the lies and stupitidy of the current administration for eight years. I guess it’s to be expected if my brain seems in need a vacation.

Sometime I think perhaps I’ve unleashed the visual side of my brain to the point where I am more aware of those mental muscles. They can be very pleasant to exercise. I used to love playing my guitar primarily because It did not require thought. It was a meditation.

Maybe it’s a spiritual thing. I am sort of morally opposed to criticism though I think it can occasionally be an good learning exercise. I flee from the sort of mental machinations that are dependant upon the assumption that one knows, absolutely, what the truth of a thing is. I know how convoluted this world is, this realm of physical and mental exchange. So much is twisted in the delivery, from one heart to another, from one mind to the receiving entity. Much can be lost  . . . or gained.

And memory is completely fallible.

Love saves it all and who can define that?

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