Asleep at the Wheel

Monday, August 19, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes I am relaxed enough that the voices in my head go quiet.  Rarely, but sometimes.   These voices in my head aren't like the voices murderers talk about.  You know, those voices that are always trying to play themselves off as a vengeful God who commands you to kill somebody.  Mine are totally different.

The voices in my head keep a running commentary of the world around me, no matter how small the stimulus. For example:

Oh that bent tree over there?  That reminds the voice in my head of the old climbing tree next to the house where I grew up.  We used to make forts in that pine, high up in the branches.  Of course those forts really just consisted of climbing up about 15 feet off the ground and sitting in the branches, but to 10-year-old me, that put me on top of the world and far above any mundane troubles like parents, brothers, or homework.

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that the voice in my head drives my writing.  The constant commentary rambling around my cranium becomes the seedlings from which my stories grow.  And this inner voice, in its totality, has become a wonderful and comforting companion.  It arms me with the combination of words and feelings that allow me to make sense of my world, and to share it more accurately, or more hilariously, with others.  I love the voice inside my head.  Without him, I would be quite lonely.

So what do I do, post-honeymoon, post beach week, when the relaxation of summer has poured me into a deep valley of letting go and releasing worry.   Amid the ever-present mountains of self-doubt and daily anxiety, my relaxed self floats down to the earth like a feather, swept left and right by the breeze as it makes its way gracefully to the pavement.

And then I lie there. A still, discarded feather.  Exhaled. Relieved of the pressures of flight and lift, but now also far removed from the applications that define my purpose.  If my inner voice is the gasoline of my creative drive, what happens when I sputter to the side of the road.  Can my outer voice write, or am I just asleep at the wheel?  That is the writer's question of the day.

Thankfully, the mountains remain stapled to the horizon.  No matter how far I cruise away from the snow-capped sentinels, the reminders of stressors past and future never totally disappear around the curvature of my landscape.  My hope is that if I've got a solid engine, one that I've been tinkering with daily to keep it running smoothly, that eventually those mountains will stare down at me long enough that I will feel insignificant in comparison to their majesty.  That insecurity will naturally progress into creating an inward concern that I am not worthy of such a immaculate view.  That type of perseverating worry, it turns out, is my inner voice's version of a constantly ringing iPhone alarm.  Annoyed back into action, the inner mumblings begin once again, providing the fuel that will hopefully propel my creative vehicle toward the quickly approaching uphill terrain.      

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