Thursday, January 4, 2007

External influences

I can find inspiration in external influences—paintings, sculpture, dance, trees against the skyline, other poems—but today, I'm thinking about those other external influences. Sitting in my good chair with my bad heartburn, I'm thinking about how nagging physical considerations can keep me from writing.

It might be some traveling ache or pain, and I have plenty of those. My knees are bad! I can't write! My shoulders hurt! I can't possibly work on a poem. I have a cold, or I'm too hungry, too full, too, too, tired. Oh, the whining—it's always something.

It can also be too hot, too cold, too bright, or too noisy. This last factor is possibly valid—but when it's lumped with all the others, nothing is left.

While I fear that it's hypochondria (how predictable), I suspect that it's all a deception, a ruse—using those distractions as an excuse not to write. That doesn't make sense. Why find a reason not to do what I like to do? Minor complaints make a bit of sense if we're talking about delaying dishes or laundry (and I'll do all the washing anyway). But writing? Am I avoiding writing? Or am I subconsciously finding reasons not to start writing. Starting is the hard, sweaty part. After I get into it, I stop noticing all that other stuff.

So, as I try to get my body to the gym this year (and that has yet to happen), I'll work on getting my mind past my middle-aged grumbles and past the starting block and do some poetry laps.

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