I was awake at 5:30 this morning, eager to crack open my notebook and begin writing. But it’s 30 degrees here, and I am not good at being cold. I turned on the heater in my cabin, and then I carried my journal and my favorite pen inside. I turned on a lamp and I sat down in my comfy green chair.
Then, I stalled. Every word I wrote felt like an ice cube stuck with all the other ice cubes. I had to chisel each one free and it wasn’t rewarding. My fingers were blunt and stiff. Surfaces. Temperature. What I ate yesterday. What I might do later today, if I ever get out of this chair. I grabbed some poetry off the bookshelf next to my green chair and I read. Nothing grabbed me, but I copied out a short poem, and then I tried to write a poem using the same sort of gestures.
But what was the point?
And then, I remembered to ask, What is this? What exactly is it that I’m feeling? Can I name it? Where did it come from? What is it trying to tell me?
I remembered something I read yesterday in Tracey Cleantis’s book, The Next Happy. Fear can masquerade as lethargy. I wrote down that question, too: What am I afraid of?
The pages began to warm up, and the words weren’t solid little cubes of ice anymore. They began to flow.