Thursday, November 24, 2005

Pulling the stuffing out of the bird

Writers block. Everyone knows what that is, right. Staring and a blank piece of paper, or nowadays a blank computer screen, and the words just won't come. It evokes images of emptiness. A lack of words. A lack of expression.

It's much more insidious than that in reality. True writer's block is when you have feelings and emotions to express but the fluid is trapped behind the cork in the bottle. A vintage with so much promise gone to vinegar for lack of a corkscrew.

That's sort of how I feel today. So much I had hoped to express and an utter lack of ability to get to it at the peak of its flavor.

The problem is that I don't know how to adequately say thank you to so many friends and family members who have helped me in ways large and small over the last year and more. It is important to note that any difficulty I claim to have suffered and endured is nothing in comparison to those who have lost loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or who have had their family lived disrupted by the anxiety of long deployments with a spouse, or sibling or child or parent serving in harm's way every day. And certainly my little splinter of difficulty is nothing compared to those in the gulf states whose lives were uprooted and whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Those people still deserve or respect, our compassion, our help and our prayers.

I did, however, in a manner of speaking endure my own female-named storm spreading a path of destruction in 2004. Her toil was more emotional, but did involve major disruptions to life and career. She completely and literally changed the landscape for me. I can't say I'm thankful for that. Maybe one day I will, but I am thanking for my friends who helped me rebuild my life.

These aren't necessarily in any order, but I have to start by saying how thankful I am for my daughter. It is because of her that I came to understand what unconditional love truly means. She is my motivation to try to be a better man. She is my inspiration. And now, thankfully, after a lot of years living a long distance apart, I am now back in the same area code, a couple of counties away and I relish every moment spent with her.

I must also thank her mother and her family who have accepted me as part of their family and included me in on many gatherings, large and small. I love them all and appreciate the love and support they have shown to me.

I am also thankful for Brat. She talked me back from many an emotional ledge and talked to me about everything from the mundane to the magnificent over long stretches of dark day and brought me into the light. She helped me see hope and see a future when all I seemed to be able to do was dwell on a past that was long gone. I never deserved that compassion or the affection she has and continues to show, but I am grateful for it none the less.

My California posse was also instrumental in keeping me functioning in the real world when many days I wanted only to crawl into a deep, dark hole to either sleep or fade away. H, B, and L in particular took me out to eat and drink and dance and laugh. Oh God, the laughter was so damn important. And Gene, I thank you too for not giving up on me and being my friend even though I wasn't very good at staying in touch during the year-plus that I let myself get wrapped around a woman's finger. I miss our martini-fueled talks.

I was also fortunate to rekindle and old friendship and make a new one with M and B. In fact is was one year ago today that I was fortunate to share in their Thanksgiving celebration, with B home on leave from Iraq. They were truly an oasis in the desert. I hope to be able to repay the favor some day in some way, but I'm not sure if that will ever be possible. M was a friend from home at an important time, and now that I'm back home, in a manner of speaking, I realized that she helped me remember a lot of the things I love about Oregon and the area where I grew up and came of age. And equally importantly, she helped me realized I don't have to take the shit I don't like about this place so personally either.

OK, so I got the damn cork out of the bottle and this shit is flowing out all over my shoes now. There are so many people I'm thankful for, old friends and new, who have reminded me to get over my damn self and have a little fun. Mike in Colorado and 3T in Arizona come immediately to mind.

I really want to thank all of you who write a blog out there, particularly those listed on the right. I've spent many a happy moment (OK, way too many hours) reading your posts and drawing inspiration from them. Not so much the inspiration to write, although many of you awe me every time I point my browser your direction. But mostly, I want to thank you for the inspiration to live and laugh and love again and again.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone.

2 comments:

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

WOW. Beautifully written G-Man!
:-) I wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving my friend.

(((HUGS)))

3T

PS. Who knew "writers block" could be so eloquent! ;-)

The G-man said...

Thanks T, I hope you and your family have had a great turkey day. And thanks for your years of friendship and support and some very happy memories.

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