Monday, April 4, 2011

The Pretty-Pictures Substitute Post

This could be the saddest dusk
I’ve ever seen
Turn to a miracle, high alive
My mind is racing, as it always will
My hands tired, my heart aches
I'm half a world away, here

--R.E.M., Half A World Away

For the last three days I’d been working on this fable-like post in which Lake Ohrid, the sun, the Travelarity blog, and my travel-memoir were all talking characters in a soulful and sometimes humorous tale about my recent struggle with so-called writers’ block.  It was called The Lake, The Sun, The Blog, and The Book:  A Love Story.  I was still working on it tonight at a lakeside café when I realized (1) it stunk; (2) I ain't no Aesop; and (3) this is a blog, not a literary magazine.

So around 10 p.m., I hit the brakes, dragged it into my computer’s Trash bin, and then emptied the Trash.  (In case I die, I didn't want it to be found.)  And of course now I'm worried that maybe it was actually Gold, and perhaps I've made a huge mistake.  Oh well.

Now I’m caught short, with only pictures to offer.  But I figure they're worth thousands of words, and could be a decent substitute for my usual, witty prose.  The napping-puppies photos is my favorite, but it makes me feel bad that I woke one of them up when I snapped it.

* * * * *

Now, if you’re curious as to what that fable was about, here’s a synopsis:

For weeks I’d been completely ignoring The Book—blaming it on writers' block.  Instead I was spending all my days near The Lake, with which I'd recently become infatuated, and with The Sun, an old friend who unexpectedly resurfaced after a long, agonizing absence.  

Each morning The Sun would come up and greet me with a warm embrace, and together we'd strike off for long walks around The Lake, which neither of us could stop staring at.  The Lake was so beautiful we could hardly believe our eyes.  The three of us would spend the entire day together until this guy named Twilight would show up and tell The Sun it was time for her to be getting a move on.  The Sun would begin her journey toward the west then, but not before planting rosy goodbye kisses on both of my cheeks.  

Evenings were devoted to The Blog.  We’d sit together in cafes next to the Lake and when the time would come, we'd look to the sky and watch The Sun make her grand exit for the night.  (The Sun’s always been dramatic that way.)  Then I’d tell The Blog all about my day, and the things I'd been up to lately, and sometimes we would laugh and laugh. 

I also confided in The Blog that lately The Book had been feeling like a ball-and-chain.  I confessed that I’d begun to question seriously whether I was wasting my time with it altogether.  I felt bad for betraying The Book this way, but it was the truth.

Of course, The Book became insanely jealous of The Lake, The Sun, and The Blog.  For more than a week I had paid The Book zero attention, and instead spent all my time gallivanting around The Lake, hanging out with The Sun, and two-timing with The Blog.  The Book was also extremely hurt because—being a memoir—it knew everything I’d been saying and thinking, including the bit about the ball-and-chain.

One night, after a late evening with The Blog, I came home to find The Book sitting in the dark, crying.  The Book was very sad and also quite angry, for obvious reasons.  It threatened to disappear if I persisted in treating it this way.

I panicked at hearing this because, I realized, I really loved The Book.  I knew we had just hit a rough patch from which I’d been allowing The Lake, The Sun, and The Blog to distract me.  I begged The Book not to go and admitted it wasn’t writers’ block, but my own insecurity that had caused me to act this way.  I didn't think I was good enough to give The Book the life it deserved.

That night, The Book and I stayed up late and had a long, honest talk.  The Book reminded me of what I had inside me; what I’m capable of, and I told The Book, sincerely, that I was sorry for ever doubting what we had.  In the end The Book and I vowed that we’d stick together and see things through to the end, no matter what. 

The End.

* * * * *

And now, I have to go.  I don't want to keep The Book waiting any longer.