Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Resistance

This morning I resisted getting out of bed. I woke at half past four. My body told me to get up, but my mind resisted. I was filled with inertia, if such a thing is impossible. I rolled over for an hour.

When I did get up, I resisted going down to write. I looked at the clock, made calculations about time to form an excuse, but I had three quarters of an hour. I brought the coffee down with me and sat at my keyboard.

This is usually enough, but not this morning. I put my computer to sleep last night instead of shutting it down. Waking it, I heard Paul Simon, saw my bank's web page, Gmail, and other tabs. The music was wrong for the morning, but inertia said, let it be. I checked my bank for a deposit. I read mail. I futzed around.

You should be writing, I told myself.

No, not yet. I'll write later.

Write now.

I don't want to.

Yes, you do. You'll feel good putting words on the screen.

Yeah, but...

Shut up and write.

I switched the music to Brad Mehldau's "Dream Sketch," closed my bank and Gmail tabs. I opened 750words.com, I signed in, typed Resistance, and wrote.

That's two resistances I've overcome this morning. One more to go.

I went to bed angry last night over a slight I perceived. I tried reading but kept falling out of the book into anger. I turned out the light and rolled into more anger. I breathed but was hanging on tightly, thinking too much.

My jaw is sore from clenching and my teeth are just that much more ground down. I've forgotten my dreams but know that I woke still angry and inert. Anger kept me from sleep, from getting out of bed, from writing.

Which is to say that I kept myself from these things. I chose to hang onto anger. I'm still resisting letting it go.

Children hang onto anger until noticed. It's a sign of being hurt. Once the hurt is addressed, the anger usually dries up unless the kid has been damaged.

Adults have accumulated enough damage, some of it self-inflicted, to hang onto anger longer though we know letting go would make us happy. Even now, writing this, I resist, feeling that If I let go, I will lose.

I'm so wrong.

There's no winning with anger, only losing both bad and good. Hanging onto it, keeping myself from sleeping, getting up, writing, and feeling content, that's the bad loss. The good loss is letting go. Only a child believes he can win with anger.

How to let go, that's the question. Turns out, it's not difficult. Breathing helps. Feeling the anger does too. I'm imagining the anger as a piece of red paper. I wad it up and rise into a jump shot. The wad of paper spins and rattles into the bin. Anger's time expires. I just won. The crowd charges the court, lifts me onto their shoulders, and there's nothing to do but smile.

That and to write on.