The line is Langston Hughes, the poem "A Dream Deferred". I have been thinking about that poem a lot lately. Well, at least since the weekend before the weekend before last. Especially in light of my having posted:
That was my intro to posting Weezer's "We are all on Drugs". That deep groove was caused by seeing a ghost of a childhood friend among other things. That's not what this is about. This is about me. This is about me thinking about a million things at once and answering the question that has been asked of me a million more.
First, in case you need a refresher...
I don't necessarily think it does any of those things. At least, I wouldn't describe it as drying up like a raisin. It's a little bit like an old boyfriend with a cozy little place tucked away in furthest corner of your heart but rarely brought to memory unless by someone else.
A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
That is exactly how I feel about writing. To be fair, some of you are reading this thinking,"Er, Jen, you are writing." Blogging is nothing. It requires little thought and even less creativity. There was a time, as people are very fond of reminding me, that I was a prolific creative writer. Poems and as someone one put it "those freaky, deaky stories." A lot of people, for a very long time, myself included for a little while, forecasted that I would grow up and become a writer. I can see how that assumption could be made.
The thing is that growing up isn't at all how I ever thought it would be. I always assumed that when I got older, got married, had a family that I would have those things to write about, to draw from. I don't though. My husband, my kids, this stinky black dog, all invoke certain emotions but I don't find myself compelled to write poetry, prose or even some non-fiction expose about any of them. I can't write those "freaky, deaky" stories like I used to because quite honestly, those were pure imagination. It is far easier for a 16 year old to write a completely fanciful and fantastic steamy sex scene than it is for me to do so now. Sex is far more complicated than I could have ever imagined at 16. Aside from the complexity of the story, there is that risk that people might think that I am writing about them. Or that I am reflecting some reality that I once knew. For the most part, they would be right. The truth is much stranger than any fiction I could conjure so I would be remiss if I didn't chronicle it. I am not really inclined to do it though so rest assured your secrets are still safe with me.
The last really great thing I wrote was ten years ago. A collection of poetry that I had intended to get publish. It was titled "...then I'd be the queen!" which was drawn from a private conversation, the first part of the sentence was,"If getting laid was the answer to the question of the meaning of life..." I don't have conversations like that anymore with anyone because we've all become less frenetic, old, married ladies. (Or divorced, just so I don't leave anyone out.) I don't know what made it so great. I still have a copy. I actually won a contest with one of the poems.
I guess what I am trying to say is that things change, people change. Some things don't give the same thrill that they once did. I threw away just about everything I ever wrote this summer when I cleaned out the garage. I let it go. I had to.
Sure, every once in a while, I will be struck with some inspiration that comes out lyrically but I am not ever going to be that thing you thought I once was. It's time for everyone else to let it go too. It only "sags like a heavy load" because people keep putting weight to it. You were all going to be a lot of things too, but you don't see me bringing it up in conversation. I don't ever want to be like that friend I ran into...lost...stuck in the weight of a reality based entirely in fantasy. Reality is hard enough for me without adding the complication of trying to be someone I used to be.
So, I don't write anymore. It doesn't give me the joy it used to. It doesn't flow like it used to. It stopped being something I identified with.Come to think of it, most things in life are like that for me anymore.
There's just no joy in my world anymore. I feel sick all the time. I feel depressed all the time. I keep pushing forward, but for what? More rejection and heartache. More of the universe laughing at me. I wish I did have some sort of talent in something. Some sort of time-consuming rewarding hobby. Something that would give me an edge in these stupid interviews. Instead, it is always more of the same.
So here is the thing...I hear ad nauseaum about letting things go and being set free. About clearing out stagnant space so that new things can fill in. So like I said, I let it go. But nothing has come in it's place. But then, I still do this so maybe I haven't let it go. So, here it goes. This is it my friends, my last post. Like everything else in my life, this blog has never worked out the way I intended. And it certainly doesn't help me to change anything around me, about me or inside of me. Nothing does. So why keep putting myself through it all the time.
I suppose it's been fun for the most part, but when you are the only person in the auditorium it is still talking to yourself.