Friday, June 17, 2005

Runnin' from the Shadows

This week, I hit the wall. If you are presumptuous enough to think you are a writer, the wall is something you don't acknowledge. It's like the shadow in the room; unless you specifically look for it, it's non existent. Shadows are patient. Sometimes, we celebrate them. Film Noir showcases the shadows, the encapsulation of the ever present wall; captured for eternity, a testament to the constancy of the shadows.

When you write, if you give yourself into tunnel vision and script madly, you write well for awhile, then perhaps less well, but you are writing. The problem is that the writing becomes less honest. Tunnel vision truncates everything else, constricting to mere drips and drabs. Eventually, the writing stops.

The wall finds you.

I've spent this past week reading the news. There's been a lot going on. Mr. Conyers went to Washington, figuratively. Literally, of course, he's already there. Terri Schiavo's autopsy showed that she was never abused, and that she could never have recovered. Jeb Bush digested this news and still attempted to pin some sort of murderous intent on her husband. This is so patently not what the Governor's job is about that I should be on fire. I got nothing here. Zip, zilch, bupkas.

I read about Cindy Sheehan this week. I admire her strength. Her speech crawled into my heart and cried there. Nada.

I read my calls to action from True Majority, Downsize DC, Common Cause, Sojourners, NARAL, Democracy for America, and The Big Brass Blog Alliance. I replied to everything, pondered the efforts, admired the dedication, longed for the energy. Big fat zero.

Is it me? Am I burnt out? Is the world grinding me down? Am I that poor in character that I'm without fire?


So, last night, I drank a couple beers. I pondered the state of my brain, my pen and my brew. Sometimes, a pity party is in order. My problem, I decided, is two-fold. First, I need to be bolder. Second, I need to be more optimistic. Oh, I write tough enough, but it's the tunnel. It's not honest enough. I'm idealistic, but depressed. I need to trade that in for optimism with a side of Mad as Hell.

So, next week I will find the fire. I accept this battle. I must win. We all must. We have the best God Dem democracy in the world riding on it.

When they lie, no more thinking they're idiots. Cold hard facts please, as loud as possible. When they twist, untwist. Subterfuge, shine the light. Slander, tell the truth.

The little boys spoiling our democracy need a spanking. It's time to channel our inner parent and set them straight.

Party's over.


At June 17, 2005 4:05 PM, Blogger frstlymil said...

Way to go, sistah. You might want to expand this particular writing to book form. I'd sprint to buy it.

At June 17, 2005 5:05 PM, Blogger Pia Talks said...

have to second FM.

Brilliant writing, Jet, straight from the heart and the intellect. Powerful thoughts.

Honesty in writing is difficult and multi-stepped, I think. Reaching the level of honesty where you can't write unless you tell your whole unvarnished truth is perhaps the most difficult step.

Looking forward to your next post

At June 17, 2005 5:23 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Thanks to both of you. Maybe this is the equivelvant of the overstated turning point. All I know is coming up empty this week was disconcerting.

Just keep keepin' on, I guess. The alternative has zero appeal.

At June 17, 2005 5:46 PM, Blogger Brother Kenya said...

But see, you accomplished something even with this post. You evoked the frustration that us Davids have fighting a big ol' ugly giant. It ain't easy by a long shot.

All writers have ups and downs, it's true. Sometimes your bowl is empty and all you can do is write about how hard it is to write. It also depends on what your impetus is, writing every day like this. Is it to change minds? Is it to clarify your own ideas? Or is it to leave a record for someone who might come along unexpectedly, later?

One thing I do know, Jet. You're not a diarist. You're a thinker. A thinker and a feeler. And when you have burdens like that, all you can do is ride out the stormy times and wait for the new wave of purpose to show up.

You know, deep down, that it will. I'm sure you do.

At June 17, 2005 6:25 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Brother Kenya, your words had wings. Perhaps the trick to sizing up a giant is to stand back a bit. They don't seem so big that way. Hold that vision and fight like hell; a little purpose is a beautiful thing.

Thank you!

At June 17, 2005 7:47 PM, Blogger windspike said...

We all hit a wall...then the other party says something so foolish, it's impossible to ignore. No worries, we all will keep checking back to make sure you keep bloggin' away sister.

At June 18, 2005 7:06 AM, Blogger Jet said...


You've got a point, windspike. That's the third certainty in life, right after death and taxes.

At June 18, 2005 9:37 AM, Blogger 1138 said...


The last thing we need to consider is 'getting nice' with the bullies.
It never works, bullies like easy targets - ones that don't fight back and embarass them in frot of their crowd of followers.

Jeb is a prime example of the demi bullie that we should be targeting for response.
Not because he's the Presidents brother and shame on him reflects on his brother.
Not because he's a Republican Governor with a regressive social polcy.
Not because we have a beef with his buddies in the Florida Congress for perversion of the law.
But because every time we let one of these bullies slide after they've been caught out they come back bolder and meaner and although I know it's bad english worser.

We give these bullies the power the wield, we give it to them by being nice to a human being that doesn't have a concept of the value, only what they can do with it.

If the caring, decent people of Florida want this man to be president one day they can sit back and be 'nice'.
If they'd like to put a stop to another George Bush then they need to get off the bench and start calling for his impeachment for his role and his statements in the abuse of Terri Schaivo's right to dignity and the twisting of the states laws for partisan reasons.

How many times do we let a bullie cross the line before it becomes our fault and not his?

Seek your inner Dean, tone it down and use it.

We know what they are, why do we keep pretending they are well intentioned, but just misguided?

At June 18, 2005 5:34 PM, Blogger Jet said...

I know what you mean, Paul. I believe that the higher road does not entail ingoring the rabble; I know only that is does not entail tit for tat labeling. If it's just a case for namecalling, democracy can NOT benefit. This road calls for nothing less than a "fact smack-down". Strip the party gloves off and smack the BS with the truth; hit them hard. There is no need for name calling when we have the truth at our disposal. It's ugly, but the road to winning simply entails embarrassing them with their ignorance and greed. Believe me, it's fertile ground for waging, and winning, this war.

And we know, in that arena, all's fair.

At June 18, 2005 5:41 PM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

AMEN! I think the Republicans NEED a fire lit under their complacent big-business rears. They NEED to feel the wrath of the reality-based community. I am not playing it nice anymore. I gave this up awhile ago. I am not blabbing rhetoric but I am attacking because they will not stop unless they are proven wrong and put in their place time and time again. We must take the fight to them.

At June 18, 2005 8:10 PM, Blogger PATCAM2005 said...


At June 18, 2005 8:35 PM, Blogger Matthew61 said...

The great thing about blogging is that it allows you to have writers block and still publish something. Pretty cool to me.

At June 19, 2005 12:28 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Precisely, OK. We can beat them with the truth, but we must not shirk doing so. The time for eye-rolling has passed.

Patcam, better numb than dumb!

Matthew61, you are so right. Blogging beats staring at a manuscript page and fussing at your characters because your can't find the words to reveal them. Let the story tell itself leaves out those long stretches of waiting for the words.

At June 20, 2005 10:24 AM, Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

"So, last night, I drank a couple beers."

That is when some of my best blogging occurs. Next time you hit a brick wall and have a few beers, just start typing and see what happens. Sometimes, you might be amazed at what comes out ;-)

At June 20, 2005 11:32 AM, Blogger Jet said...

Well, perhaps not your BEST, Darlin', but certainly your most entertaining! ;-D

At June 20, 2005 1:36 PM, Blogger Sally said...

The Republicans ALWAYS give you material...just let them be them!

At June 21, 2005 7:34 AM, Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

LOL Jet; acknowledged ;-P


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