I’ve been up for more than an  hour. I spent much of that hour writing something I will never post. In fact, I suspect I will delete the file. It will do no one any good to read what I wrote. My words were selfish expressions; they did not even serve me. They represent an outpouring of self-pity; a revelation that need not be revealed. I’ve written quite a lot of such stuff over the years. Most of it either deleted or saved in password-protected files that will never be opened because I did not save the passwords, for fear they could be found and the files opened. I thought I would remember the passwords. But I don’t. I suppose I should delete those files, too. But I might one day, in a flash of new-found memory, recall the keys to unlock those files; I might be able to open them and see whether I wrote anything worth reading. Anything worth saving. Almost certainly not; when I am in moods that prompt me to write such stuff, I am unlikely to write anything of any value to anyone, least of all myself.

My fiction seems to have left me. I no longer have much interest in writing fiction. I’m more interested in writing what I think and how I feel, stuff that is of interest only to me. I return, on occasion, to read my expressions of what’s on my mind. And, on occasion, I like what I’ve written. But I see no value in it. It’s just ruminations, recorded in written words, that will eventually be discarded, along with the computer on which they are stored. I used to think I would organize my writing into some sort of coherent collection and publish the pieces I judged worthy of publication. Oh, I still think about it sometimes but the more I read what I’ve written, the less likely I think I will try. I would be the only one apt to read it. Maybe some members of my family. But no one outside a small and shrinking circle would waste their time on it.

Moods. I certainly have them, don’t I? Moods direct my behavior in predictable ways. Last night, I wanted to do nothing more than sit on the deck and drink wine. I wanted company. But it occurred to me that I did not want to talk to anyone; I just wanted someone there with me. Someone to suffer in silence with me. What a selfish bastard! I’m like that a lot. I want to be left alone, but I want to be left alone with someone else. I want someone else there with me, listening to the whipporwills and the crickets and wind chimes aroused by the breeze and watching as the night sky begins to darken and show stars. I think I want someone else to experience what I experience so that, later, when I emerge from that solitary mood, we can compare notes on our experience. Maybe that’s it. Maybe not. Maybe I just want to feel like I am more interesting, even in silence, than a television reality show.

I’ve had it with writing this morning. Nothing of any consequence has slipped from my fingers. It’s a waste of phalangeal joint energy. Enough.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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5 Responses to Nothing

  1. Expressionphiliac says:

    Thank you for sharing the expression “phalangeal joint energy.” It has strangely enriched my life somehow…

  2. Pat, thanks for your encouragement. And I appreciate your idea that I am providing a flash light; that’s an interesting perspective. Colleen, I am glad my words (even the ones I sometimes find superfluous and irritating when I write them), are meaningful to you. I won’t stop sharing my writing. I can’t; it’s like an addiction. 😉

  3. Colleen Boardman says:

    Please keep sharing your writing. It matters.

  4. Colleen Boardman says:

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, John. They really resonated with me.

  5. Pat Newcomb says:

    ah – but John, it is not a waste of your creative powers and the practice of your craft – in trying (and occasionally failing – you say) to capture that which is often beyond words – you are providing a flash light for many others –

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