22 June 2013

Freewrite: Coping With a Life of Quiet Desperation

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. 
~ Graycie Harmon



riters (and probably all types of artists) can be such voyeurs. 

It happens everywhere: as I “train it” to and from work; walking to the art gallery; standing in line for lunch; digging for buried treasure in a consignment shop with friends. 

If I’m open, relaxed, and not thinking too hard about my own issues, I “see” the stories unfolding all around me.  And lately, all of them remind me of Henry David Thoreau’s observation: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Watching the play of weariness cross countless faces, and sensing the trapped-animal pacing just below the surface, I feel like I’m watching myself in a mirror. But my love of words and my love of nature are the bridges I use to escape Crazy Desperate Town when its walls begin to close in.

Yesterday I spent several hours in the morning mowing the side yard, weeding the garden, trimming dead branches from the fruit trees, and raking grass. And in the afternoon, I read a few blogs, wrote my blog post, and then headed into town for a swing dress fitting, and some retail garden therapy.

But what if you don’t have the gift of writing? Or painting? Or singing or playing an instrument? What if you don't have room for a garden? How in the world do people survive life without art or nature?

Writing out my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, or researching an idea takes the sting of the sometimes blah and desperate parts of life. And the ability to putter in my garden, sit in the shade of the orchard, listening to the sounds of nature, calms the restlessness that comes from feeling the press of reality.

I shudder to think of what life would be like if I didn’t have these outlets.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Are you living a life of quiet desperation?  Have you tried taking up a new artistic hobby?
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