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Traversing the tepid

June 10, 2014

It has been no secret. I’ve not tried to disguise it.

The lover of all things fire caught a chill.

The word is in giant black wooden letters above my desk:


Inspire. Literally, to breathe into or blow upon. To infuse by breathing.

But it’s as if the air has been sucked out of the room. And fire needs oxygen or it will die.

I reckon some folks haven’t noticed that these creations have become fireless—collections of words forged from something less than white hot coals, dancing embers, or a raging inferno. I suspect some folks may even prefer it. It is, after all, controllable. Tame. Little threat to the sacred cows grazing down the daisies in the yard.

It is also exceedingly painful, and more than a little bit boring. I wasn’t made for lukewarm.

I sat around the table with friends last night and the subject came up. Call it what you want: stuck, dry, blocked. How do you even talk about losing your words, losing the creative energy required to pull the not yet into the now? How do you communicate the depths of something when all you have left are spark-less words, assorted leftover syllables from the discount bin? Even as I spoke, it felt like a soundproof wall stood between my heart and the words that actually made it out.

Sometimes it really is easier to say nothing at all.

But then in the middle of the conversation my friend looked across the table at me and spoke.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

Simple words reflecting a simple idea. But it was as if a brass bell rang clear and strong. I heard them far more loudly than they were spoken. I heard them with a weight and authority I knew wasn’t human. And I knew these were direct instructions.

Just keep doing what I’m doing.

Simple…but not easy.

I don’t really want to do this. Not like this. Because this hurts. It is painful. It’s exhausting. I feel adrift and lonely…I feel like I’m choking in stale air.

I’m about as far from inspire as I can get.

But here I am. I don’t have anywhere else to go.

And so I guess I’ll keep showing up and playing with wet matches, waiting for something that has ignition.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Joann permalink
    June 10, 2014 7:09 am

    This, even thisn lights a fire somewhere. I know you want more and I know you are capable of more but this is still good and somewhere, someone is feeling warmer because you push on. Love you!

  2. June 11, 2014 8:36 am

    Affirmations don’t do a thing for me — at least not the popular ones flying all over cyberspace. Now then, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” is more likely to grab me. Great post!

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