Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Can't Not

Why still write? The simplest answer is: because I can’t not. (That double negative was for you, Urania!)

It’s kind of funny how you might get involved in something in your life and some experiences stick with you, become part of you, while others fade away without much remorse. One of my examples is yoga. I never thought I would be a yoga person--I had always been into more concrete, competitive stuff like volleyball, interhall flag football, or taking a “real” workout class. The first yoga class I took was a yoga for fertility class. I think it may have saved my life or my sanity. That was only 6 weeks and then I moved into taking Vinyasa, yin/yang yoga, and experimenting with other kinds of workshops (gong bath anyone?) as well as therapeutic yoga (cannot recommend enough for people with chronic pains). I learned about breath as energy and how to control it to get your body to respond a certain way, a simple concept to which to easily return in daily life situations. I learned about meditation, chakras, and yoga of the mind. Plus there are ashtanga and forrest yoga if you really do want a hard workout! There was peace in learning to accept what your body can do at different times and in reconnecting mind to body. I know that even if I am away from an official yoga class for months at a time, its concepts have become a part of me and I will always find a way back to it.

An example to illustrate the “something that fades away” idea is crocheting, which I taught myself about 4 or 4 and 1/2 years ago, before parenthood. I think for Christmas that year I made something like 20 scarves and 16 hats for people, baby hats, and a stuffed pastel caterpillar for a baby. All different kinds of yarns, different kinds of stitches, different seams and finishes and embellishments (I crocheted different kinds of flowers to affix to hats and scarves). I frequented the fabric store, I even ordered yarn online. I was proud of how I could quickly work with smaller and smaller size hooks. It was fun and I took pictures of almost everything I made. My mother said I should sell stuff onine. Even the dog had his own homemade scarf. Then I just stopped. And I never picked it up again. I could not create one stitch now, not even the beginning chain row. I would truly have to teach myself all over again. While I think it would be possible and it might be a nice thing to do again someday, I really haven’t missed it, I really don’t care if I go back to it, and it didn’t become a part of me like the yoga did (and yes, my yoga teacher was one of the recipients of the hat/scarf sets). I still have bins of unused yarn in the basement.

The writing is much more like the yoga, except even stronger, because I did write for fun from a young age--elementary and junior high--but never really seriously considered it. After college I was away from creative writing for many many years, but, for whatever reason, it bubbled up from below the surface and burst into the forefront of my mind again. Once I started jotting scenes and background for a very long story, all sorts of ideas popped up. And then, as mentioned here before, when the Great Non-Backed-Up Hard Drive Crash of June 2008 happened and I lost almost everything I had written, I realized how I needed to re-create as much as I could or I would feel like part of me was missing. The writing was probably always a part of me, whereas I did not come to the crazy yoga concepts until my late 20s.

So to summarize, I guess when something becomes a part of you, you may walk away for a while but you can’t really escape it. Why continue to crochet? Myeh, maybe someday if I feel like it I will pick up the hook again. Or maybe I won’t. But why continue to write? I can’t not.


  1. Well that is one well dressed dog, anyway. I agree with "loves" that come and go - and those that stay forever. Writing no longer seems like an optional activity to do in my spare time!

  2. I know that dog is thinking "Thank goodness she's having twins, maybe she'll leave me alone."

    I hope that one day when you are published you will be able to laugh about the The Crash of 2008.

    You feel like you've lost a part of yourself, because writing is such a personal task. When we're writing, whether conciously or subconciously we reveal things about ourselves; our desires, wishes, loves, hates, so I think it is natural for you to feel that way.

  3. Perseverance is the key and you explain this so well because writing is part of you. You can't not!!!!

  4. You put this so well, Trager--even with your use of a double negative!