Monday, January 3, 2011

On Not Blogging Much Recently…

It’s been more than two months since my last post and much has occurred in that time – I’ve been blessedly busy with work for the past two months (needed the money big-time after months of underemployment); a chapter of my chapbook Meeting Dad: A Memoir was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (thank you Accents Publishing and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer!); and, I’ve been cooking… a lot!

Recent dishes include: Linguini with White Clam Sauce, Filet Mignon and Fettucine Alfredo for Christmas Eve (2nd annual meal for that night); Sloppy Joe’s from scratch; tacos from scratch; various and sundry one-pan-wonders with meat (pork or beef) and an assortment of vegetables; Spaghetti and Meatballs (veal and pork); and, on New Year’s Eve, authentic Buffalo Chicken Wings. Perhaps I’ve been putting more creative energy into cooking than I have into writing? Perhaps. Perhaps I also simply needed to take a break, to take some stock, to recharge my batteries, as it were.

On New Year’s Day, I spent some time with some friends (old and new) and was fascinated to discover that there were several of us who either hold (or are close to earning) an MFA in Writing. It felt good to connect with the writing vibe again and I realized that it is time for me to get my butt back into the chair and to finish my memoir-in-progress. I’ve been stymied for several weeks because of my old demons “self-doubt” and “second guessing.” That, I suppose, and simply being exhausted from the pace of work and other vicissitudes with which we all deal, pretty much every day.

There’s been another thing at work however. I think I’ve grown weary of the din, of the constant noise with which we are so often bombarded – pundits and prognosticators making their oh-so-self-important proclamations about Obama and the tea party and Congress and Palin among many other subjects. I suppose I’ve been less eager than other times to add my voice to the din, at least not unless I thought I had something interesting to say, and, frankly I don’t think I’ve had anything too terribly interesting to say about recent political developments. Honestly, I think we all need to take a collective breath and calm down. So maybe that’s it? Maybe I needed to give myself a timeout? Perhaps. Maybe I simply needed to spend some more time in the kitchen – mixing, stirring, inventing, interpreting, exploring.

Now, it’s a New Year. 2011 has arrived. The economy is showing slow signs of recovery, the 112th Congress is convening, next month Chicago will elect a new Mayor, Jerry Brown is once again governor of California and Ahh-nold is likely headed back to Hollywood, given that he can’t run for president.

Here we go, then. A new year, a new decade, and – I hope – a new chance to embrace the work of our lives.