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April 11th, 2013

Hail, Poetry! Thou Heav'n Born Maid!

Every once in a while, a phrase will perfectly crystallize what's going on in my head, and this morning I had such a phrase come to me.

"My life has had the poetry sucked out of it."

I couldn't tell you exactly what led to that phrase, but there are pointers. For instance, we were listening to the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast on the drive in this morning, and Kennith Hite was on as a guest, rattling off all sorts of interesting biographical details about Ambrose Bierce as well as probable literary influences on his work, and I remembered thinking, "I used to know stuff like that. I used to care about stuff like that. I've lost it all. Where did it go?"

Then, and this is the weird one, I was looking at the Keurig coffee maker in our office here. It has a digital display that gives you the option of instructions in English, Spanish, and French. For some reason, I take great delight in pushing the French button, so instead of "To begin put a K-Cup into the slot and lower the handle" the readout says something like "Pour commencer mettre un K-Cup dans la fente et abaisser la poignée." I don't know why I should take delight in such a thing, but I do.

And this morning, as I pressed the button and read out the display in my usual broken French, I thought "Wouldn't it be awesome if the instructions on all gadgets were in French? Every trip to the vending machine would be a brush with poetry."

And then came the phrase, "My life has had the poetry sucked out of it." And it has. I've had so much crap flying at me from all directions that all of my mental energy has been devoted to just coping and keeping the plates spinning. Work has been full of crisis. Family and friends have been full of crisis. My "extra-curricular activities," whether FurTheMore, attempts at art, or just mindlessly blowing up pixels on the computer, I've only engaged with the 10%-15% of my brain that I could free up for the task. It's not just that I'm not getting much enjoyment out of them, I'm barely even there for them.

The good news is, this is a diagnosis, not a life sentence. Having made this realization, I can turn my attention towards fixing the problem. It will require some re-prioritizing and probably no small amount of things ending up on life's cutting room floor, but it's necessary. There is a life I know makes me happy, and a life I know makes me miserable. Right now I'm wading into the latter and forsaking the former due to circumstance. It's time to push back.

-The Gneech

PS: Even pirates need poetry.

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