Thursday, November 10, 2011

Broken Noise Filter

When I think about all the words there are out there, words that were crafted with exceptional thought, passion, and authenticity, it makes me feel so grateful that anyone takes the time to read a few of my poems or these few blog updates. So thank you.

I'm struggling with my noise filter. The world is especially noisy these days and my head is the kind of head that is easily distracted by noises. When I am writing at ModCloth, I bring headphones and play white noise, because it's actually anti-noise. Hushing, underwater, bubble-creating, focus-enabling anti-noise.

I have always struggled with noise distraction. My sensory filters are less efficient than other people's. It is my daily struggle to find a quiet cocoon of space and time to connect with myself. Today I'm at home because I've been struggling with some kind of pre-illness that doesn't ever seem to manifest into actual illness. So I'm stuck in the weird place where I'm exhausted, but can't sleep, thinking constantly, but can't focus on work. This blog post is the first productive thing I've done all day. Napping was a failure. Laid there for an hour. Annoying bird outside and annoying thoughts in my brain. Just couldn't catch the cloudy hem of sleep...

I almost can't go on right now. Someone is hammering outside. My right shoulder is aching because who knows why. I realized recently that my body is stick or in some kind of achy state of pain pretty much all the time. Also, someone is using a tool that makes a buzzing noise. Guesses include a buzz saw, shop vac, other kind of drill or perhaps a power washer. Time for the white noise.

Sigh. I literally get goosebumps when the deep whooshing starts.

I tried catching up on blog reading today. I started going through my "feminist" label and I had to just mark them all "read." I couldn't do it. I get sucked into the sad noise of our world. It's important to stay informed, but it's also just as important to protect yourself, if you have the luxury of/ability to turn it off.

A friend of mine reached out to me this week with some struggles. Work is making him super depressed, he feels antisocial, unmotivated, uninspired. I felt so much compassion and I wrote a really long email back where I'm pretty sure I said something like, "Life is really fucking hard always, so figure out what makes you feel good for a brief moment in between in order to cope with it." While not untrue, perhaps the worst advice ever given to someone who needed a pick-me-up.

Feeling so behind on my poetry, behind what or who I don't know. Everyone must be more productive and committed than me (duh). It's been a while since I've written a good solid poem. I haven't edited an old poem in weeks. I am far from my goal of 100 submissions this year too. It's all noise though. The noise in my head. The hammer and buzz saw. My achy shoulder/neck/hand/knee/ankle.

I think that's the most frustrating noise for me right now: the competitive noise of the writing world, the feeling like I have to keep up with writers who clearly have no issues with noise filtering like I do. To sit idly by thinking to myself, "How you produce anything worthwhile with all this NOISE going on?" Maybe they are more practiced. But these thoughts are also the noise, the part of me that makes comparison noise. The other noises will always be there, but this one, I make myself. It's useless. I should just write a poem. But the thought turns my stomach and exhausts me. I have so many other tasks, noisy tasks whispering to me, "...silly Laura, you don't have time to write a poem right now..."

Where's my off switch?
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