Am I getting old? I think I must be getting old. I used to be so angry about things and these days it’s as much as I can do to get a bit anxious about something like a blocked drain, or a late submission to my supervisor. Even the happenings of my children are a bit fuzzy, even as I worry about them and hope they are finding their way. I feel sometimes a bit muffled. Muffled by the encroachment of middle age.
I’ve noticed a few people talking about their experiences online and they are overwhelmed with emotion. They are young and it seems they are angry and indignant about everything. I can’t feel the same heat, yet I remember being fired up with similar fervour when I was their age. This bothers me a bit. Am I self-satisfied and smug? Am I old and tired? I feel I have travelled such a long path from my early miserable teens and twenties to this space now – one which is mostly pretty cheerful about life, if a little dull. Not that my life is dull: it is filled with exciting things, like my research, my husband and the books I read or the shows I see, but I feel rather unimaginative. I feel the way I report about my life leaves the small details out – those which can be really interesting if told by a raconteur – and that even the big stuff is recounted with something approaching ennui.
Which is very annoying when trying to be a Writer (uppercase). I need lots of imagination and fire and levelheadedness, but I lack the fire and imagination. Hopefully I won’t feel like this tomorrow, but today I feel a little glum, a little grey.
I think I have lost that creative spark! That thing we all have as children to recreate our worlds as our imagination sees fit. I don’t make anything any more. I don’t potter, I don’t sing much, I don’t write songs, I don’t even knit. I write, but that writing is bound, prescriptively, by my research needs. I read, but my reading is bound by my habit of skimming and I lose the richness of the dialogue or prose. Which is why, I guess, writing in this blog is a way of developing some connection, however small, with the creative process. Otherwise I’d spend all day playing Sims3 and watching the tele.
So, if my desire to feel something – excitement or anger or rage or transcendence or joy – is so strong, what can I do to bring out my creative urges? I am goal bound, and cannot start something without the capacity to see it through to the end, after which I lose interest, a little bit. Can I play music? I could, I should, as I label myself as one. Could I compose? Or write songs? I could, but I acknowledged long ago I lacked the drive or interest to work hard at what is quite a challenging skill.
Could I paint, or draw? Or model clay? I could. I miss all partaking in all of these activities from time to time. What stops me from getting up and doing them? Ennui, I fear.