Write anything until you write something, I have said. Some days I sit down to manipulate words and write gibberish, the words barely making sense in the combinations I’m forming. I suppose “stream of consciousness” is one phrase for it. But I soldier on, and more often than not, at some point the ducks line up and start quacking.
This particular day I was sidelined and distracted by a mysterious pain in my knee and hip and found myself unable to concentrate on anything else except trying to maneuver my body into a position that didn’t hurt.
So, I wrote about that. What else could I do?
“Bah! Humbug! Am I to be defined and debilitated by my aches and pains?” I wrote. “Fie! A pox on aches and pains. Reach inside and pull lush and lustrous words and assembly them like magic singing.
“Pain has a way of diffusing focus, or rather of focusing on itself rather than the task at hand — the task of making magic, conjuring beauty from the air and grace from the sky,” I continued. “Am I even making sense, or am I hurling words against the wall to see what sticks? Sharp pain is a descent into madness.”
Wait, was that it? “Sharp pain is a descent into madness.” Had I written anything until I wrote that sentence, which was something?
“Oh just stop, you’re being just foolish now,” I wrote. “He doesn’t mean it, posterity, he’s just writing words to move the pen across the page until coherence arrives.”
And then I stopped writing and picked up the laptop to finish the thought. Where was I going with this? I’m not sure, but while I was scrawling and typing I didn’t notice the pain anymore.