I’ve fought the dreams and the half-ideas that nestle in the back half of my brain just out of reach. They’re like the last sock in the dryer, skittering backward everytime I almost touch them. They’re the things I either need or want to write about but can’t or won’t write about. That usually means they’re the things that most need writing, just like that sock is the last clean one in the house and you can’t go out and about without it.
People talk about writer’s block because it’s a well-known phrase that gives a misname to a concept that doesn’t really want to be better known than by its camouflage. Writer’s block is really the part of you that is three years old and doesn’t want to take off all your clothes to get in the bathtub. It’s the part of you that is five years old and doesn’t want to wear a dress and a bow in your hair to church. The part of you that is a woman dying to take off her bra. Writer’s block is the thing that doesn’t want to be exposed, to be cleansed, to be appropriate. It is the part that wants to damn convention but is stuck with suitable nipples. Writer’s Block is knowing how you are supposed to behave. Writer’s block is not wanting to do the hard thing to get to the better result.
And that’s why I’ve not written. Everything I want to write I know better than to write. I know that it will damn me as an outcast–cast even farther out than I am.
For awhile at the start of my illness I viewed myself like the woman in the room with the yellow wallpaper, locked away inside a prison made by someone else and decorated to look like home. Then I started to feel like more of an anchorite–a person voluntarily secluded in a spiritual place to ponder the nature of God. Now I’m moving more into feeling like the twisted old woman who lives in a cave outside the village. The one everyone sneaks off to for bone dust and cramp tea. The question is really who put me here and why do I stay? And do I really stay? Anchorites don’t have email, you know. The Cramp Tea Woman didn’t call people on her cellphone.
There are all these people upset about the gay cookie. Nabisco put out an ad for Gay Pride Day that showed an Oreo with layers of coloured filling stacked to look like the rainbow. Beneath the cookie in bold print was the word “Pride”. Under the cookie in small print was my favourite part, though. The part that said “Made with creme colors that do not exist.”
Doesn’t that say it all? That there are these ideas we have about what would be great and nice and fine, but ultimately…those creme colors do not exist. That person who should be, the nice girl with the bath and the hair ribbons and the well-fitting bra is a construct. A made thing for other people, not a real thing. A version of truth that really doesn’t exist. A rainbow layer of creme for a posed picture that you can’t actually find in the real world.