Creating after creating
This side hustle. This do-something-creative-after-you've-spent-the-whole-day-battling-with-creative. This create when you know you can't create but you know you need to create otherwise you won't create. This burn out.
Those that spend their work day battling the esoteric, the non-linear, the right brain, but then come home to work on their own right-brained creations might understand how the side hustle turns into tumbleweeds.
Yearly, I sit down to spew forth my dirge of yearbook complaints: the craze of deadlines, the search to name that one student who no one seems to know, trying to push desire and care into the hearts of eighth grade students who think their social lives will deliver them.
This year, it's not so much about the actual yearbook or students but what they take from me.
Because right now, I just don't want to.
I feel like, right now, not ever.
Find more agents to send queries to so I can, hopefully, get that book published? No. Get that away from me. It turns me green.
Squeeze out some iota of humor because, c'mon, look on the bright side? Have you read my attempts of late? I'm beginning to think how unfunny I am.
Write words? I'd rather design. Go away words. You beat me. You are Delphic.
Which brings me to the two words I feel in March (even though this is posted in February): burn out.
The match that has just snuffed out. The flame that has cooled and expired into a twirl of smoke. The passive voice that feels comfortable because active voice is too difficult. The blogpostathon that is over ten-days behind.
In college, one of my education professors said something along the lines of, "If you don't go home tired, you're not doing it right."
I must be doing it right.
But I don't want to be that tired, not to create. Not to not write.
I give up so much of the creative substance to my students that I forget to hold back a little for myself.
So, as I drive home, while I sit in silence or with music, it sticks its roots in my skull and begins to take hold.
And it could be a weed, but even weeds grow tall, wild and strong.
They search for the sun just like any iris, just like any lily.
Burn out means empty soil. At this point, I will take a plot filled with dandelions -- a badness that will later be weeded out -- over the rocks where my creative self is currently trying to sprout through.
I can go back and pull those weeds, hack them down, and showcase the lilies that deserve the light.
Rocks? Rocks just settle, and I don't want to settle.
Right now, it's all a blue flame that clings to the wood of the match, and it's light is dripping into the dark. It's hot teeth aren't sharp.
That's early March. It burns hot and blue and close to the wood of the match. The flame is small, to reserve the energy needed to finish out this part of the year.
Then, once extinguished, a new match is pulled from the book. It brims with life and potential energy.
I await the new match.
I crave it.
This current match's flame still dances. It's dim, almost bored, but continues to fight the dark. It wants to win with it's ambivalent energy.
But, it is burning out.
I am burning out.
And once completely out, the blackened remainder of this part of the year will be discarded once more to make room for a new match.
I need the energy of the dying match to last so I can finish out these following days, but once it burns out, I won't miss it.
I need the energy of the dying ember, but I yearn for the new match that will ignite a new conflagration, one that burns as crazed as a dumpster fire.
Until then, I will sit peacefully and visit my creativity as it rests in the infirmary.