"The Earth has music for those who listen."
-- William Shakespeare
"And in comes Romeo, hes moaning: ’You belong to me, I believe.’ And someone says, ’Youre in the wrong place my friend. You better leave.’ And the only sound thats left, after the ambulances go, is Cinderella sweeping up, on Desolation Row."
-- Bob Dylan, "Desolation Row"
It smells like piss in this room. The crickets are chirping out in the night. And I can hear the stars quietly humming, if I stop and listen hard enough. Work in the morning. Damn it. You can’t stay awake all night.
Getting back to a routine is a solid escape from your emotions. It’s the only way to stop a neurotic from thinking too much. Other than oil paints and hacking off an ear. Or a bike ride around the lake. Yeah. Wouldn’t that help some?
Putting your mind into motion when it never ceases anyway. How does the neurotic overcome his (or her) own neuroses? Without downing another shot at the bar; without calling a friend -- because it’s much too late at night, and everybody else is sleeping. They’ve got work in the morning. And you are just sitting here, listening to the sounds of the night.
What would Hemingway do? What would Dr. Who do?
I don’t know. I don’t really watch Dr. Who.
Maybe Hemingway would trek out to the woods... or go for a walk on the beach, and stare out to Havana from Key West, or vice versa.
But I don’t have any beaches around, and the woods are probably filled with mosquitoes and other shit I don’t feel like dealing with. So this is what writers do -- this is how the heaviest thinkers operate when their hearts are left to dry out in the summertime sun. They don’t really think about work, even though it would probably be one of the few things to help them through their sudden sadness. No ears have to be severed, and no whores have to be sought.
Do Your Work
Work. Just work on your projects, your articles. Whatever it is. Do your work. That’s what my brother always tells me. Knut Hamsun was one of the better writers of the past hundred years or so. Do your work. That’s what he said. And it’s true.
It’s the only thing that works. Working.
And that’s what this website is used for: to teach and encourage others how to realize their truest potential. Because living life to the fullest is the truest art form. The crickets know what I’m talking about.
(Trying to) Move Forward
How do we move forward, though, as neurotics, when we can barely stop our thoughts from focusing on that which keeps us hindered and unproductive, as we love to say? I wouldn’t say that I’ve been totally unproductive. But I know that I could maybe do a little better. A little better than the day before. Continuing on in that vein might possibly assuage my neurotic tendencies.
But it’s like a clock. The hands move, and the fingers do what they must. And then I come back to who I am and what I am thinking about. Work is just an illusion that forces us to look away. The illusion keeps us safe and sane. The neurotic just can’t get their shit together. Nobody likes somebody who can’t get their shit together.
Maybe that’s what keeps me awake? Thinking that nobody will like me ... meaning, that if I don’t engage in my work, which keeps me safe and sane, I won’t get over the fact that I keep coming back to that which keeps me up at night, listening to these crickets. I won’t be moving forward. I will keep encircling within my thoughts.
The sun will rise, and I won’t be well-rested enough to do the work that I need to do, in order to turn my thinking away from my not doing my work.
(The editors always tell me to maintain a very nearly singular train of thought. Choo! Choo!)
We Laugh at the Poets
But if I can laugh at myself? Ah, then that’s the key. That’s the key to everything. Nothing is more important to the neurotic mind than being able to point the finger at his or herself and to laugh a good laugh, especially when nobody is around, as we like to say.
Though, you’re around ... aren’t you?
Yes, and the crickets sing, hiding in the cool grass which will be damp and wet in the early morning. Revived and refreshed. A new day to begin again. Each new day brings more of the same, if it doesn’t bring something entirely different -- in the mind. We sleep to rejuvenate the spirit.
And we work to exercise our brains, muscles, spirits and souls. Even if we don’t think we can get through it -- we do. We get through anything when we work, when we strive, when we realign our focus to the task that needs to be completed. Hopefully we don’t seem and sound like machines. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing, when we still have hearts that bleed.
Here comes the Shakespeare in me that won’t ever quit....
I better get some rest. Tomorrow brings new and more work.
Though don’t the crickets sound so pretty in the night twinkling around those distant stars?
where she is
Image Sourced: Romeo