Have actually gotten myself a Twitter account now at the urging of a friend. You can follow me if you choose @henriettahandy. It is strange being so out there in the world and yet so in here on the inside most of the time. I mean, in order to write stories there is a lot of quiet happening on most days with just some music playing or just silence some days as most of the true action is happening on the screen in front of me and in my head.
Last week my husband was home sick from work with the stomach flu and most of my time was spent getting him cool drinks, ice, making sure he had Advil, and his fevers were under control or he could actually make it to the bathroom (and if he didn’t there was a bucket close at hand). I gave him all the love and support I could and while he slept I would slip away and write as much as I could in the meantime. True, I didn’t get as many words down as I could if I spent the entire day writing, but words went down and this is what mattered. And, even in his horrible illness he encouraged me to write and keep the progress going. We definitely are a team on this book, and it feels wonderful.
At the same time, there are moments when there is a sense of being so alone the only way to make it go away is to write, to tell the story simply because this is where the action is! After a while there comes a point where you simply must get out of the office, away from the computer or the page and be with living, breathing people and have real conversations simply because you need the noise of living people to respond to you much like mothers of small children need the conversations of other adults other than the gurgling and chatter of their children: it sort of reminds you of your life, your humanness and adulthood. Each and every one of us needs reminding of this at some point, just as each of us needs to have the quiet and solitude of stillness: this lets us renew ourselves just as much as the stillness! All things in moderation. Right?
Sometimes I wonder if this generation or if people understand just how important the stillness is any more. We are constantly tuned in to something. Instead of using it to help us be still, i.e. have quiet music or thought-provoking literature and poetry to enhance our own thoughts, technology is being used to push back the stillness until it is nonexistent. So many are looking for something and can’t find it, but are too afraid to be quiet, to try to find out what it could possibly be. Instead they use the herd dynamic to follow instead of think genuinely. Those of who genuinely think and listen tend to make decisions differently while others make decisions on a different level and use phrases such as “standing up against the machine” or “reclaiming the past” when they can’t see the machine is broken and is probably never going to be fixed again (speaking of politics) and that “the past” really wasn’t that great, yet this is almost a battle cry for them and they blame a man, their leader, for all the problems of a nation because of the color of his skin and thus everyone else who is physically different while claiming to be non-judgemental. All the time this an uproar of sound and hissing fury they are ignoring. It is just easier to ignore the moment of silence and take the time to think and follow the crowd because it is easier to blame the crowd than to think on each individual’s own.
Are people so frightened of being alone with themselves and their own thoughts now? I know, as a species we are a pack creature. I love this about my kind. We were never meant to be alone for any length of time, but we are meant, more than anything, to think and to grow, to learn. Why are we being dumbed down as a nation? College graduates aren’t challenged in the United States. High school seniors don’t even read classic literature any more. Perhaps I am expecting too much out of the current American population to think in a silent moment when they can’t even read, write, or spell.