Fr-fr-frozen

Holy Jumpin’ Jebus.  It’s cold.  Crazy cold.

I don’t even pretend to like the winter- and its temperatures/snow/ice- but C’MON.  A few days after the city was restored to power (mostly, anyway.  Still a few poor people who remain in the dark/without heat) and we are dealing with wind chill that is making it feel like close to -30 freakin degrees Celsius.

The city isn’t the only thing that’s frozen over, though.  I’m dealing with a pretty significant case of writer’s block at the moment, which is a big ol’ pain in the ass.  ‘They’ say to just keep writing through the block- that the best way to overcome is to just ‘produce’.

‘They’ suuuuuck.

I spent a few hours over the holidays watching Jeff Dunham specials on various comedy networks- looking to enhance the cheer.  I do love my Muppets, and ventriloquism has always fascinated me- and boy, does he do it well.   When he has multiple voices going… I don’t love all his characters, but for some reason Peanut and Jose Jalapeno- on a stick- were seriously making me laugh.  As a result, whenever I say/think the word ‘suck’ the voice now sounds like Peanut.

The ideas have been few and far between, the prose just ain’t a’ flowing and I have absolutely no interest in doing the research/job searching I should be doing at the moment.  I’m thinking it’s partly to do with the end of year/beginning of a new one reflective funk that sometimes happens.  It can be stated, fairly, that my introspective moods do become a little too extensive and extended at times- and this is likely part of the problem.  Inward insight makes outward output tricky, to say the least.

There’s also been some drama in my extended family unit, so coping with that is making concentration a wee bit problematic- as the lack of sleep and anxiety makes itself manifest.

One of the things I’m also meant to be doing is generating a strategy for creating systemic change in this city of mine.  I have not received a response from my own city councillor- I’m allowing for the fact that it’s still technically the holidays as a reason for that- but that buffoon who persists in calling himself our mayor officially declared his intention to run again and continue to garner attention for everything but responsible policy development and institution.

This should be enough of a goad to get me off of my butt and back doing something, but I have to admit that my own, personal and professional, situation is foremost in any strategizing that might be happening right now.  A number of things that have gone down of late have left me feeling as if some sort of deadline is looming- and that sensation is really causing me to focus on making changes in my own life.

But figuring out just what those changes need to be is the biggest thing that is keeping me frozen right now.

Part of responsible citizenship is discovering a balance between one’s responsibility to oneself- and one’s family and friends- and active participation in the wider community.  The juggling of these responsibilities can be hard to negotiate (as I mentioned in my last post regarding the vagaries of Time) and any wrench- regardless of size or import- tossed into the planning and execution of attempts to keep all the balls airborne can significantly mess with progress.

Right now, despite best laid plans and the sincere desire to remove both myself- and my fellow citizens- from our current mire of expediency-over-what-is-right, moving forward with anything seems a little insurmountable.

There are a whole lot of lists circulating around right now- ‘what to do for a better 2014’, ‘what not to do for a better 2014’, and things along those lines.  While they have their place- and certainly serve some level of purpose, I suppose- I’m pretty much opposed to the whole sound-bite-as-response way of looking at things (which is one of the reasons why my posts drag on so long).  Pithy sayings and trite observations aren’t always the best solution to things, IMHO.

At a couple of gatherings over the holiday season there was a great deal of talk about ‘white people’s problems’- mainly having to do with power outages and the like (a lot of the neighbourhoods that were hit badly by the ice storms are those older ‘hoods with their older-growth trees and higher property values), but some of it was directed at job dissatisfaction and inability to fight the status quo.  While most of my current spate of concerns definitely falls into that category, knowing that others are certainly worse off does little to mitigate that reality.

I know that well-meaning friends were not being dismissive, exactly, of my current situation, but such responses do tend to make me clam up and cease throwing around ideas and looking for help as to directions- personally, professionally and in the larger societal sphere.  They are likely sick of hearing me talk about it all.  Believe me, I am far more sick of living with it and trying to come up with solutions.

Balance.  Hard to find and harder to maintain.

Depeche Mode gets it.

There’s more besides joyrides
A little house in the countryside
Understand, learn to demand,
Compromise, and sometimes lie

Get the balance right, get the balance right

Be responsible, respectable,
Stable but gullible
Concerned and caring, help the helpless
But always remain ultimately selfish

Get the balance right, get the balance right

You think you’ve got a hold of it all
You haven’t got a hold at all
When you reach the top, get ready to drop
Prepare yourself for the fall, you’re gonna fall
It’s almost predictable
(Almost)

Don’t turn this way, don’t turn that way
Straight down the middle until next Thursday
Reverse to the left, then back to the right
Twist and turn ’til you’ve got it right

Get the balance right, get the balance right

Happy New Year to you all.  Hoping that I’ll be back to better form and looking a little more forward and a little less inward as the year unfolds.  Begin as you mean to go on, and all that.  The way the year is started can help to frame the way that the year progresses.

Have to overcome the sense of being overwhelmed and get back to fighting the good fight.

PS- I just passed 6666 views hereabouts.  The Number of the Beast, plus an extra 6.  That’s fun.  Might have to think about writing about the Antichrist sometime soon…  THAT might get me back on track…

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9 comments on “Fr-fr-frozen

  1. Oh, happy new year. Keep on keepin’ on…and stay warm any way you can. Brrrrrr. Warm thoughts being sent your way.

  2. Hi Cole,

    It’s none too warm in Ottawa, either. Sorry to hear about the writer’s block. Interestingly, I did nto experience this, but I am working in non-fiction, so perhaps the lower level of creativity accounts for this.

    You should wait until I destroy the matriarchy before making a serious effort to exercise your community obligations. Might save you some work. };-)>

    Have a great 2014. Hope the career, writing, and extended family affairs ultimately go well.

    • colemining says:

      Thanks Nav. I’m not sure that the matriarchy is the reason for Ford Nation and the like, but I’ll take whatever optimism I can get.
      Thinking that there’s just a little too much running through the brain right now- having trouble sorting it out enough to get anything on the page. And usually writing helps with that sort of thing… I’ll get back into the groove.
      Happy 2014 to you, as well! Stay warm.

  3. Ste J says:

    Blimey, that is freezing. Keep your thermals on. Happy new year and I hope that all the plans you make do come to fruition!

    • colemining says:

      Ste J- the thermals are getting quite the work out this winter!
      The plans will return to progression- just need the right kick to get them re-started. Thanks for the thought!

  4. bethbyrnes says:

    One of the things I learned from Rudolf Steiner is that any endeavour has a season that waxes and wanes, like the breathing in and out of the earth. So, you start a project, ramp up, delve in, become consumed for a time, and then, naturally, this subsides and its diminishes and then stops for a time. Then you spiral back to it, upward, and return later on, following a fallow period for that specific activity/venture, and revisit it at a higher point, where the process begins again. The Steiner schools are structured on this principle and it works quite well. They start physics in first grade, revisiting it every year at higher and deeper levels, until the culmination in quite sophisticated individual projects in the final year of high school. I find that in my own life. I dive into something whole-hog, plumb its depths rigorously, and then let it go for a time, only to return to it periodically. So, you don’t need to write every day or even every month or year, just because you started it. Letting it rest, strengthens it for the return. One of the first lectures I heard at the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC was “the function of sleep in the learning of a child”. Food for thought. Hope your issues are manageable, and as the French say, ‘bon courage’.

    • colemining says:

      Thank Beth. Great advice there. I do tend to obsessively run at things and then get immensely frustrated when the steam peters out. I also tend to use this blog as an outlet that helps me to think things through, so the inability to do that lately has been problematic.

      As you say, the cycle will return to its upswing- best not to force it for the moment. The issues will be resolved- as all issues eventually are. While I’m generally fairly patient with others, that tendency isn’t made manifest when it’s ME that is stalled/overtired/not producing. Own worst enemy, and all that.

      Will try to increase the courage and just get on with it all- when I can, and after a ‘rest’.

  5. […] to begin?  A little while ago I was feeling kind of frozen with the inability to come up with stuff worth writing about.  Oh, what change a couple of weeks […]

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