52 Weeks 500 Words
This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.
'I filled my week with many tasks. This was a way to distract myself from the events I told you about last week. Did it work? Amazingly, yes. I found large slices of time flying by not having thought about that idiot once.
Still, with hindsight, I begin to understand while that is fine at the time distraction is needed, knowing while you’re doing it that it is no more than a coping mechanism, it is also a killer of creativity. It slowly erodes your ability to imagine. I made myself so ‘busy’ I had no time to think- the point, yes- but I also had no time to write or sketch. I sketch J and no, I’m not showing you!
Right now, I’m finding it hard to write even this. It feels like a dry recording of thoughts; this doesn’t really feel like insight at all. In fact, it is as if I’m dragging insight from words on paper, not actual feelings. Has that happened to you? You’re so busy, and someone asks how you are feeling. Your answer is a rote response, because you believe that is what is expected of you, this is how you should feel, you suppose. That feeling. It is outside of self. It is trying to be real when you are in fact totally numb.
In a way, then, these are answers. By recognising a state of un-involvement, I am in truth revealing to myself my state of mind, my state of soul, therefore this is an insight. I hope so. Maybe when I read this again in couple of weeks, it will trigger something fresh. It will definitely tell me how I numb I was at this point, I think. One can work with that and try and avoid a similar situation developing in the future. I guess, then, this remains a beneficial exercise.
A killer of creativity is killer of self. If I am numb, acting by rote, then how am I able to open my imagination? On the flipside, imagination will unlock this dead response to everything around me. Now that back and forth of triggers can mess with your mind, and what do you then do? You get busy. The fridge needs defrosting. The weeds need pulling. That pile of ironing needs doing. A friends needs handwritten pages typed up. And so forth.
And here is that strange little addendum that suddenly has me sitting up and frowning at my computer.
Those tasks I mentioned (read whatever it is you do to keep ‘busy’)? They are mindless. Usually when you’re about them, that is when you think the most … or should think the most. I recall many hours spent on my knees weeding- my hands pull, my eyes seek the next weed, my body shuffles along on its knees to the next patch- but my mind roams into and about subjects far and wide.
This did not happen this week while I was so very busy. I find that scares me.'