Writers block has plagued me for weeks, following me around like a persistent friend holding an expansive notebook full of fascinating notions and plans. But, unlike conventional writer’s block which leaves a person exhausted from a dire lack of inspiration, I experienced the complete opposite. I was blocked full of ideas!
There were thoughts of fried bologny, emerging trends in rural development, the rise and fall and rise of leggings, the importance of gathering together in Winter. Everything was competing for a chance to be transformed from being a tiny idea that flew by while I was eating a boiled egg at 6:15 to the big idea that anchored a story. It was as if I was a wizard with a writers wand, magically able to turn a thought into a tale.
Pieces of paper piled up around our house bearing blog titles as simple as “Winter” and as complicated as “Nigel the Gannet’s Commentary on Comfort”. Ideas flew around the house like unruly birds, each looking for the smallest bit of attention, begging me to bring them to life with pen and paper.
So I did. Or I am. Or I’m trying, at least. Elizabeth Gilbert who is a frequent visitor to my imagination, reminds us in her book “Big Magic” that creators of any kind must allow space for their ideas and work to flow freely. Blocked creativity can affect your overall well-being, or at least make you cross.
So, not wanting to restrict that free flow of thoughts or be cross or continue to see scraps of paper everywhere from the fridge to the basement, I sat with my fine tipped pen and neatly lined paper to do what my operating system was designed to do ...write.
Surrounded by the ideas, now peacified by my obedience, I was struck by one word that had not yet made it onto my seemingly endless list - spindrift.
An hour before the pen and paper made their appearance, I had decided to embrace the sunny Winter day by hanging out clothes. As I walked down to clothesline number one (the wild one), I stopped. I allowed my already wandering attention to focus on the heavy sea rolling unapologetically into the Cove.
My senses came to life without delay. The sharp smell of the frosty wind. The edged touch of the cool air on my face. The tangy taste of the salt breeze on my lips. The thundering sound of the waves spilling over the rocks. Then...spindrift.
I watched, almost trance like as the wind and waves collaborated in an ancient and bewitching dance to create that surreal mist that turns a wave into an entity. The wave sends spindrift into the air as a symbol not of it’s power but of it’s boundless energy.
I sat in the grey wooden chair perched atop Cow Cove, a laundry basket full of frozen jeans and tops only feet away, and thought, “I know what spindrift means. I know how spindrift feels. All without having to google “spindrift images” or downloading a screen saver. Such is the life when you live near the sea.
So there it was. I felt the sureness of the story settle into my bones. The ideas that had been following me around for weeks hoping for an audience bowed reverently, knowing that like all stories, they will be written when their time comes.