Wednesday, October 24, 2007


God, I hate being in Limbo, and I seem to be spending far too much time there of late. A combination of factors are responsible: having reached a point in my current book where I simply don’t know where to go next; frustration over the fact that I have three books in the publisher’s clogged pipeline with absolutely nothing I can do to speed things up; residual self-disgust (see earlier blog) over recently having spent nearly $200 on computer programs I have been unable to install; the weather, which I really don’t mind, but which at the moment is reminiscent of something out of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Overall, an odd mixture of edginess and mild torpor. Not particularly pleasant.

I just had “lunch”—a Hot Pockets Cheeseburger which, on the box looked to be overflowing with scrum-diddly-iciousness but proved to be only slightly more tasty than the box it came in—and decided to come in here to compose the next blog entry. And here I sit, staring at a vast expanse of white screen with only a few dark smudges of words on it. From a distance it looks like an ant on the corner of a freshly-ironed bedsheet.

Limbo is certainly not a place for the impatient, and I have long been a poster boy for impatience. I’ve come to the conclusion that my mind is somehow not wired properly and subsequently is constantly short-circuiting, triggering flashes of thought which have little or no bearing to what the rest of my mind is doing or thinking. Memories appear from nowhere, thoughts go not from “A” to “B” but often from “A” to “X”.

As an example (as if one were needed), as I wrote the above I remembered that when I first moved into my big old house in Pence, it had lots of bats. I really like bats and would never harm them, but they can be rather disturbing as they suddenly swoop and flit through the house, especially at night. I would get out of bed, get a large wide-mouthed jar an a square of cardboard I kept for the purpose, then follow the bat until it lit somewhere. I’d then carefully put the jar over it and slide the cardboard under the opening until I had the bat trapped in the jar. I’d then take it downstairs, open the door, and let it go.

My mind is like the bat, and Limbo is like the jar. I don’t like being in a jar. It isn’t that, when I’m in the jar, I don’t still have thoughts and memories and ideas, it’s just that in such a limited space I can’t seem to grab on to any one of them long enough to do anything with it, and the sense of frustration—my primary nemesis—takes over everything else.

It is so terribly important to me to always have the sense that I have accomplished something in the course of a day…that I’ve somehow preserved one more bit of myself in words which will remain hopefully long after I am no longer physically here. Therefore, my time in Limbo is doubly frustrating.

I seem to spend so much time consumed by the need to leave evidence to the future that I really did exist that I often neglect truly enjoying the present. And when I do things(as I did today by going to the Art Institute) which I really enjoy, I feel guilty for “wasting” time I could have spent writing. A lose/lose situation, I fear.
But never fear. I know this current Limbo won’t last, and I will, I hope, someday find a balance between enjoying my todays without feeling guilty. But it isn’t easy.

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