Yes, I know. I’m late. Came here this morning, sat down to write, and suddenly didn’t want to do that. It wasn’t because I didn’t have ideas about what to write. As a matter of fact, I had way too many and couldn’t make up my mind just where to begin. So, I just sat and stared for a bit, until my sister called and asked me if I wanted to go shopping. Shopping is not my favorite activity, by a long shot, but this morning I jumped at the opportunity. Off I went to spend money that is short, on a list of things I want, but don’t need immediately, a list that just keeps getting longer because the short money thing is a permanent fixture of my existence. So, why did I do that? Run away, escape to a place that only exhausts me and reminds me that my life is not all that I would have it to be? It’s called Resistance.
Resistance to sit and do the task. Resistance to writing, putting more words on paper. Resistance to this very thing I love to do. So why the resistance? If I love it, actually come to it with eagerness and even anticipation, why would I engage in resisting it? Why would I come here, all prepared to do it, then grasp at the flimsiest of excuses to remove myself from the clear opportunity to partake in it? Would you accept an, “I don’t know?” Maybe you would, but I can’t. I, after all, know the dangers of doing just that.
I know, for instance, that saying I’ll get back to it tomorrow, will more than likely find me accepting the next excuse that comes along. And the next one, and the next, until I find that instead of hours missing in action, I might be AWOL for a month or two or three. Even a year, maybe more. Been there, done that, and more than once, as a matter of fact. There is only one solution that I am aware of: resist the resistance. The only way to do that is by coming back here, sitting down, and writing.
Resistance is a natural part of the human condition. We don’t want to change, don’t want to move outside of our comfort zone, don’t want to upset the applecart, make waves that could splash us with a ton of cold water. We’d much prefer to sit back, get comfy and cozy and let it all go run the way it has always done. And mostly that means, without our input. It’s so much easier to let someone else do it, take charge, make the rules, assign the assignments, make sure that it all gets done. Then our only role is to complain when it gets screwed up or doesn’t work, and we even know exactly who to blame if that happens. And it certainly isn’t numero uno, now is it?
I mean, I could so easily say this is all my sister’s fault. She, after all, stepped into my space and enticed me, now didn’t she? She dangled all that forbidden fruit in front of my eyes, what can one poor (underline the poor), frail old woman do? I’ll tell you what she did. She shut down this computer, broke speed records taking a shower, getting dressed, and out the door, before she could stop and think about the very real fact that she actually hates to go shopping. That thought didn’t occur until she was belted in the front passenger seat, leaving the driveway.
But she did distract herself. She saw a huge hawk sitting up high on a tree branch. Asked her sister to turn the car around and go back and take a look. He was beautiful. Do you know the symbolism of the hawk? He is considered, by many, to be a spiritual messenger, soaring up high between heaven and earth, bringing messages from that far away Sky World, back to this more mundane one. And his message? “Remember who you really are.” Ummmmm, that didn’t work so well.
But her sister asked if they could go out to eat before shopping. More forbidden fruit, and certainly a distraction away from that silly symbolic message. So, of course, that poor (underline it), fragile old woman said, “yes.” It was obvious that that was part of the plan all along, and besides, her sister was driving so she really didn’t have much choice in the matter, did she? But, she did happen to mention that she never eats breakfast unless its at a restaurant, because she hates to cook it. So much more delicious when someone else makes the mess and has to clean it up. And delicious it was.
So, her sister drops her at the Super Store she prefers, and then takes off for the grocery store because that was the kind of shopping her sister needed to do. She climbs inside the battery powered cart and goes in search of poster putty. Can’t find it. Asks, but gets head scratches and vague directions to the other side of the store, of course. On the way over, she passes the Women’s Clothing and takes a quick peek to see if they have the kind of pants she prefers. They do, but she needs to try them on (hates that more than shopping), and finds that she’s dropped a few sizes. It’s been awhile and, did I mention, she really hates shopping?
She manages to get a few grocery items, then realizes that its probably time to go looking for her sister, who said she’d be back in about an hour and a half. Rides her cart along the front end of the store making herself highly visible so said sister can find her. While doing so, it occurs to her that she does need ink cartridges for her computer. She is a writer, you know, and will be needing more of it soon. Those particular items, of course, are at the far back of the store. She manages to get them, put them in her cart, and heads up front again, where her sister is pacing back and forth, looking for her. Check out, load up, and head for home and putting all of it away.
She comes in the bedroom to hang up her new pants, and sees a note from her daughter leaning against the monitor screen. Grabs the note and looks up to see a magnificent hawk, wings spread against the sky, on her screen. It’s one of the many photos she has saved to use for a screen saver slide show, and to remind her of that symbolic and spiritual message. She’s exhausted and takes a nap. When she awakens, she moves to sit in front of the computer. She needs to check out a poetry site that she recently posted on. Wants to know if anyone has responded. Does that, only to find herself back here, right where she started this morning. Have you ever heard a poor (duly noted and underlined), fragile old woman laugh out loud? It’s a very strong sound, and it has a tendency to shake up those demons called Resistance. They know what it means. So do I.
Resistance is a natural part of our being. And, we do resist the very things we want most and even need. We do it because the things we want and need will change our world as we know it. They might even change us.