The Anxiety of Influence is fucking crushing me right now. No, wrong literary term. I don’t even know the name of the crushing literary term appropriate for my ridiculous fears of inadequacy in the face of so many impending, lingering, waiting projects. All of those self disappointments waiting to break through the Fourth Wall of the future and squash me into the soil. I have opportunities to grasp. I do not have the energy at times. Opportunities are missed by me – given to those who have more grit. No, too negative. God damn it. I miss opportunities by burning up all of my energy at a job bottling vodka in the daytime, then coming home to a passive half-nap, a kind of existential laydown but not quite sleep, and not quite fully realized thought.
I am haunted by my unfinished projects when I am busy. These phantom-ideas leave me be when they have adequate free time to manifest. Maybe it is because I feel myself slipping away. What I mean is, when I am busy with something (painting a wrought iron gate or putting whisky into boxes onto crates into stacks into trucks into livers) I do not have the leisure to imagine myself working creatively and actively on a project. Again. I’ll try again. An example. I want to finish reading Light In August by William Faulkner within the week so I can move on to other literature in preparation for the San Juan Islands writing exodus I will take at the end of the month… When I have the free time to spend on reading this wonderful and horrific “exploding” novel, I feel no anxiety for letting it sit there and rest with me. When I am waiting for the oven to cook a cheeseless pizza or the water in a cup to fill up or driving from work back home – the anxiety of the unfinished project becomes loud.
When busy – when the project of finishing and publishing a new song on soundcloud is impossible – I feel anxious and desire to work harder to accomplish the current task so I can go on home and do the task that made me anxious by my inattention to it. But when I get home, free from the crust of malted barley, I am paralyzed to perform this task of reading or producing music or emailing business men to gain their confidences for a future flight plan trip across the country… or or or…
Maybe shutting down like this is a natural rhythm in me. Something to be slogged through like a knee-deep cold river. Mud in the shoes. Sun in the eyes. Moving slowly, much too slow for the world to give a shit about my actions, my concerns.
I am afraid of disappearing into a shadow of myself when my little projects pile up pathetic with my inattention. I need a makeover of my life in order to address all of these ideas as well as connecting more with the present moment. My breath through the window. The dusty guitar sitting there unplayed.
“What does it matter who hears you if it feeds your soul?”
Yes, Mom. Eventually I need to leave the basement and show the world what I’ve found in my isolation.