Dragging myself to the keyboard has been nearly impossible since spring began moving in a few days ago. Winter, saturated with gray, undramatic weather and brittle temperatures, is finally in its death throes. I began to clear garden beds, a delightful task of discovery. Tulips and crocuses have made their way up. The lilacs and cherry tree are tipped with buds. Strawberries are tentatively putting out their runners.
This need to revel in open windows and sunlight and the sound of the earth coming back to life makes it hard to sit still. But writing demands it and I start getting odd if I don’t write for awhile. My eccentricities, which under normal circumstances might be cute or mildly irritating, get amplified until one day I realize that I’ve been singing Henry the Eighth I am at the top of my lungs and there are people walking their dogs on the street, glancing at my house and walking a little faster. Boo Radley with overtones of Crazy Lady avec Cats and/or Shotgun.
Writing is a grounding force in my life. It puts order to things, calming me like no amount of meditation ever has. For all my awareness of mental health issues, I recognize spring as a special kind of mania, especially in Minnesota. But there are some indicators that I might need to settle down and do some serious writing:
- I make up click bait titles.
- I write comments on people’s blogs that are longer than their actual post.
- I wake up and Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” is playing in my head. I’m pretty sure that signals some sort of cognitive impairment.
- I irritate my daughter by finding all the words that rhyme with her name and then sing limericks all morning long.
- I have long conversations with my cats who, in their stoicism, make me feel inferior.
- I spend an hour searching the internet for a bird sound, so that I can identify the birds that have been yakking outside my window since 3am. Damn you, black-capped chickadees.
- I sharpen and oil my garden tools while alternately humming the movie themes to “Jaws” and “Psycho”.
- I cut up 50 pounds of produce for “snacks” and then microwave a burrito.
- I yell at the microwave to shut its pie hole, as it beeps to let me know my burrito is done.
- While practicing back kicks in the kitchen, I accidentally put a dent in the refrigerator.
- Dancing becomes erratic and unprovoked. I start reciting Ren’s monologue from Footloose. Leaping and dancing, my friends, leaping and dancing.
Spring is when nature starts firing on all its cylinders, but I fear as my synapses snap and crackle, there may be a few shorts in the circuitry. I’d like to believe writing is a big roll of electrical tape. Obviously my metaphors could use some work. I should write, but the black-capped chickadees are calling and Paula needs a backup dancer. I hope she approves of leaping as well.