Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adrift between exits

Sometimes you get lost in it.

It threatens to overtake you, like a tidal wave, pulling you deep into the undertow, never to let you out of its grasp.

I've come to recognize it, understand it isn't permanent, and weather the tempest as best I can. Sometimes it is easy. Other times it isn't.

When it gets to be too much, I retreat -- into the music, into an old western, into a black-and-white '50s sitcom fantasy world in which the good guys always win, problems are solved in 30 minutes and everybody goes home happy. It scares me sometimes to think, though, about retreating into this world and never coming back.

Some days a diamond; some days a stone. I reach out when I can, necessity telling me I can't bury it anymore. Maybe I say more than I should, but it's the lifeline that's important here.

Off I go, adrift between exits, sometimes so high I can touch the sky, sometimes so low I can't see over the curb.

Work keeps me busy. Writing is my catharsis, the one thing that makes the headaches and the successes and the failures and the low pay worth it. When a story clicks, and the whole darn thing comes together -- well, there's nothing like it in the world.

And I try to remember, too, that the deep valleys, with all of what going through them means, make the mountaintops so much more poignant.


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