Blockages

My kitchen sink is acting up again. After a couple of doses of peel-your-flesh-off toxic drain cleaner we had it behaving nicely for quite a while. But the other day it once again started to do that “I’ll finish draining when I get around to it” thing  that is particularly suspense-invoking when it is combined with the dishwasher draining backwards into the sink. Whatever periodically blocks that drain is clearly located downstream from the dishwasher, far out of reach of my best unclogging efforts.

It’s been a week for blockages, apparently. Wednesday afternoon my long-dormant gallstones rose up against me and knocked me flat in a gallbladder attack that came on so suddenly I had to abandon a workshop I was teaching. In thirty years spent at the front of myriad classrooms, I could not recall ever having to walk out on a class like that due to illness. I’ve taught through gastrointestinal complaints and arthritis pain. I staggered through one whole summer session with dreadful morning sickness. Once I even fell off a desk mid-lesson, picked myself up, and kept right on teaching. But this was the first time I stopped suddenly, excused myself from the room and never made it back!

Fortunately I work with people who possess amazing problem-solving skills and a “show must go on” mentality. Within minutes of my distress message to the office, one of my colleagues was by my side calling 911, and another colleague had picked up where I left off with the workshop.

The emergency room was another story, speaking of blockages. It was one of those days in the downtown ER where, if you don’t actually have blood gushing from an arterial knife wound, you’d better bring a good book and some snacks. The movement of patients through the system appeared slower than my sink drain at its most sluggish. Nine hours after my arrival, long after my gallbladder had stopped misbehaving, an enthusiastic medical student and her supervising physician pieced together a diagnosis.

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’m not even sure I can explain why. I could say I’ve been busy, but that’s generally a given. I could say there was nothing to write about, but anyone who pays any attention to my life can attest that there’s always something going on that has the makings of a good story.

Maybe too much. Part of my challenge lately has been not knowing where to start. There are certainly things I want to– need to– write about. But they aren’t all ready for this particular audience.

Some of them aren’t ready for any audience, really. And that’s the problem.

I’ve always thought “writer’s block” meant the writer didn’t know what to say. Lately, however, it has struck me that “writer’s block” can also result from the things we are holding back from saying. Like my pesky gallstones, or the mystery glop in my kitchen plumbing: the things we don’t say–won’t say– are afraid to say– block the flow. We  can’t write anything, because the thing we most need to write, but are resisting, is sitting in the way.

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About Muddy River Muse

Writer. Reader Educator. Manager. Mother. Dreamer. And dedicated riverbank walker.
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4 Responses to Blockages

  1. erikakind says:

    What I experienced as writer’s block is when I am not one with what I want to write about. Then only the brain acts and that doesn’t work out. Only when the heart is one with what we want to share the words flow by themselves. Good post!

  2. I follow some bloggers who post every day. I don’t know how they come up with so many topics to write about, and sometimes think some of their posts would have been better off left in their minds. I also don’t know how these bloggers find enough time to post every day. Whenever you post, I am grateful to have a meaningful, well written piece to read. Welcome back, and I hope you are feeling better, and your sink is draining.

    • Thank you for your kind words

    • Imogen says:

      I’m not sure where some of these people find the time either. I’m surprised they have time to actually live life and have things to write about, but then perhaps they are these people that wander around with their nose in the their phone.
      Does this mean quantity over quality though, that I’ve yet to decide. I’m just enjoying finding out what is out there at the moment, and getting my mental cogs working again, unblocking previously blocked channels. At least I don’t have to spend 9 hours in ER to get mine sorted!! Hope you are feeling better.

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