There's a tension in my neck that's been building for days. It starts in my shoulder and creeps up toward my ear, and every so often it twists a little tighter and clouds my mind a little more. Even though this happens periodically, it's so insidious that it always take me a little while to identify the cause.
First I examine the physical. Am I tired? hungry? experiencing caffeine withdrawal? (Yes, I have an addiction, no, I don't have a problem with that fact.) Do I need fresh air? How long has it been since I took a shower, just standing there and letting the hot water wash over me?
Then, I question my emotions. Am I anxious about anything? neglecting my quiet time? lonely? Have I knitted today? (While knitting brings me joy, its absence is usually indicative of a deeper problem, more than a problem in itself.) And with that last question, I draw closer to the root.
Because when I'm enveloped in a lethargy, not only of body, but also of mind - when I forget everything I try to remember, and wonder why I'm getting out of bed in the morning - when I am consumed with consuming, and haven't spotted a creative tiger to catch by the tail for days --- then I slowly realize, through the haze, that I've been neglecting the passion that keeps my fires burning, and I'm about to go out.
So I open a blank page - crisp and smooth and lined, or a white box with a blinking cursor - and I write.
You don't have anything to write about my inner dialogue scolds. But I have to write I reply. And so I do. And with every stroke of the pen or click of the keys, the tension releases a little more. And I begin to remember the forgotten things - the joy of adventure, the wonder of beauty, and the way I was made; a wordsmith with a writer's cramp that can only be gotten rid of by working through it.
2696. No one being hurt by a dropped mug
2697. Walking to the library
2698. A storm blowing in to clear my head as I cleared the kitchen
2699. Finding the perfect paint color for an accent wall
2700! The paint guys' kind words and thoughtfulness
2701. Free queso