It used to pour out of me. It used to be a state of mind. I used to be able to take in a situation and churn it out as “poetry.” I was so passionate about it then. I actually enjoyed the challenge of putting sounds and rhythms together. I used to have something to say.
Then it all changed. I changed. It got hard. It got too challenging. I got bored. I was reading the same words over and over again. It became more about who I was with than what I was saying. And when that happened I didn’t have anything meaningful to say anymore.
Now, it’s been a long time. I finally took an online creative writing course. My wife has been very supportive of my writing again. I tell her she doesn’t understand the time involved. The class started out OK. I enjoyed reading what other’s were working on and I enjoyed receiving criticism on my piece, but there wasn’t enough time and slowly but surely I stopped turning in the weekly assignments and I really only did what I always end up doing, reediting the same portion of text over and over again. I got stuck in the same place I had when I first dropped the piece.
I made a decision when our first son was born. I decided that our being together then the three of us, now the four, was the most important thing for me. I still dream of getting that first book out and I think that maybe someday I will. But for right now, spending time with my wife and my boys is what I want most.
Right now, I am still my kids’ hero. They still enjoy spending time with them. I don’t remember spending time with my father when I was young. I think maybe I just forgot. I remember my mother taking my sister and I shopping a lot. I think most times it was just me. My sister spent time with my father. It is important to me that my kids remember spending time with me.
Right now, my job is still enjoyable. I feel like I am learning again. The challenges are stimulating and not just frustrating (though it seems I have been catapulted into a more tremulous and polarized arena). I daydream about earning a living as a fiction writer and poet, but doubt I would be able to earn what I do now. Practical things are important now (health insurance, regular paychecks, etc.)