The Southern Gentleman and I were eating somewhere the other day. I can’t remember where, because lately I can’t remember details too well. I blame my 10+ hours of internet each day and its nonstop flow of information demanding to be evaluated, filtered, parsed, tossed away. Too much for the mind. Anyway, the setting isn’t as important as this moment is:
We were talking about our respective birthdays — coincidentally, the same number of days and years apart — and how growing older means grasping new things and letting go of other ones. “I used to be a writer,” I lamented, and I meant it. I tried to remember the last time I’d written something strictly creative, or the last time I saw a byline on paper. I didn’t even try to remember the last time I’d gotten lost in the act of writing. It’s been months. Maybe a year. Maybe more.
Writers write, as they say, but lately I don’t write. I work, I cook, I clean, I occasionally and happily read. I don’t write, though. And writing is something I always did, even when I was three years old. Without it, I don’t really know what to do. Or maybe the things I want to write about are too personal, or maybe you don’t want to read about how much I still miss my father, or maybe — with the noted exception of feeling like a failed writer — I’m happy with my life and just want to sit back and enjoy that rather than work, work, work. (Writing is work.)
“You’re still a writer,” the Gent said, because he loves me.
In unrelated and seemingly (seemingly!) contradictory news, I’ve started a travel website as a hobby. I did it mostly because I spent 100+ days traveling last year, and all of those pictures had to go somewhere. I call it The Website That Nobody Reads, but officially, its title rips off a Joy Division lyric: Admiring Distance. So there you go.