A couple of purposeful taps and swipes conjure up a blank page on the monitor. It stares at me, a great, vacant white eye. And I stare back. My mind is as blank as that liquid crystal paper. Not a thought, not an image, not a feeling, transfers from it to my fingers…resting on the keyboard, clasping behind my head, rubbing my eyes in fatigue and frustration. Something, some vital electrical connection between my brain and…everything else…has simply shut down.
I’m not merely describing—poorly—a stubborn case of writers’ block. It’s life block. My body continues to perform the motions. I get out of bed, attend to my chores, do what needs to be done. I even make noises that sound as if I am both physically and mentally present in the moment. But, inside my head, I’ve taken to my bed. My will is prostrate, too overwhelmed to rise, too maxed out to care, too apathetic to act. It’s as if my mind and my flesh are no longer connected. The body, trained so well by half a century of habit, accustomed to continuing, goes on and on and on, in the face of every trial and challenge, large or small. But the mind has finally been brought, by one thought too many, one nearly weightless last straw added to the burden, to a grinding, groaning halt.
How odd it feels to press on through life in this disjointed, disconnected way. My body feels rather lonely, even traitorous, to be forging ahead without my mind. But it cannot subside. It fears going ahead alone less than it fears stopping. As much as it can feel fear at all, since it seems to have left 90% of its ability to feel behind, with my mind. Feeling is so overrated. And inconvenient.
One thought that my brain has formed has hung around long enough, and rattled loud enough, for my disconnected body to hear. "This cannot go on." Something must be done, a flame held to some wick, to light a fire hot enough to fuse the two parts of my being back into one. A flame? The sun? Where is the sun?
I know. It’s gone south. To California. So perhaps I should go there, too. Just to see what might happen.