Spinning Yarn

© 2011 David Parker

Last night I had a dream that I was a ball of yarn spun out, connecting bright spots shining in a kind of tangled web. Until all that was left was me holding one end of the string. And you holding the other all wrapped up like prey. And between us all of the projects and dreams and people that were too shiny to say no to, that I loved too fiercely not to wrap myself up in. And all I did in this dream was stand there looking out across this messy shaking constellation with each point writhing, caught up like little cocoons, little coffins, suspended from me.

With this dream, the residual feeling was weakness. And tenacity. As the ball of yarn spent itself, I could feel the energy leaving, but I dared not let my end go because I knew it was all I had left. In the dream, I would die for letting go. So I just… held on. All of my focus directed to the point where my thumb and index finger pushed against each other to keep that string.

And I woke up today with a resolution to take myself back, gather myself up. It’s a slow process that begins with raw sugar in my coffee. I’ll unbind all of us–me and you and everything else–set us all spinning like slow-motion tops. Time feels thick, but I can re-wind this ball of yarn until it feels dense enough for me to fit into the palm of my hand, to toss into the air. By this afternoon, we’ll all be breathing better.

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What Work Is

© 2010 David Parker

Two weeks in and writing still feels like work. In facts, it feels worse than work because it’s like wrestling with yourself in words that will haunt you tomorrow with how terribly boring you are. The easy way out is to write about what you did that day or how the weather is, but to write honestly about what you think and feel and see and do is damned hard work. To write requires that you be utterly, terribly, transparently honest with yourself first (a horrifying prospect), and then that you share that truth with other people–sometimes even people you’ve never met. I was talking on the phone with a dear, dear friend about how hard it is to just be honest all the time. I feel like our culture kind of grooms us for dishonesty. Like, if I don’t want to go to a party, I tend to make up some reason why I can’t go rather than just saying that I won’t be able to make it. Blogging has been like that for me in the past as well–I would wait until I had something interesting enough or clever enough or funny enough to write about before i would write anything. The depressing thing is how few and far between my posts became. The strange thing is that I should be sort of “freed” by this newfound honesty. Instead, I’m finding it difficult to find things to write honestly (and interestingly) about. Take, for instance, this post that you’re reading right now. “Well there’s not much there,” you’re thinking to yourself. But what if I told you that this post was finally written in 30 minutes in the fetal position in front of my computer? After three false-starts (about completely different topics), I decided to just focus on the experience of trying to write and what’s at stake. So of course every word feels like agony… I’m writing myself. Here. Right now. And that’s damned hard writing.