Losing Time

Everyone has at least one thing that makes them irrational. My irrationality is losing time; when I feel others have stolen it from me, particularly the time I have worked hard to carve out. If I’ve gotten up early, ignored the dishes, laundry, breakfast, the thousand and one ways to lose a morning – dove off the dawn’s deep end into the page –  it is with the deepest of rage I am pulled back to the surface, tangled in interruption. 

Creativity can solve a lot of problems. I have yet to solve the problem of other humans. Queries about my morning, the weather, what I am working on, tasks and questions – this is the perfect recipe for a slow burn leading to volcanic temper. In my more empathetic moments I am not proud of this. I understand that the price of companionship is giving away time. In most of my other moments, I don’t care, as long as I am left alone. 

Once a piece of writing is gone – stolen by things that fill time but leave no record – there’s very little I can do to get it back. I know what the piece should have been. When I struggle through trying to force it back onto the page, it almost never works. I am not yet a good enough writer to grasp at what should have been. I am a writer who can hardly trust myself to write. 

These days there’s a new part of my brain. It says: nothing is as important as getting the words on paper. Rush to give them form. They have a split-second chance to emerge into this world. Once that chance is gone, only the stillborn corpses are left. 

From the viewpoint of creation, distraction is an unnecessary act of violence. The perpetrators don’t know and don’t care. Is it any wonder I feel the worst mix of grief, despair, and destructive rage?

Take away the created, and you’re left with the void. Take away the act of creation, and you’re left with the act of destruction. Hinduism elegantly wraps this truth around the god Shiva’s dance, but human reality is a far more tenuous, ridiculous spectacle. 

I create to keep destruction at bay. I trick myself out of grief and despair, that dark tide that wells up through cracks in my brain on a daily basis; I create to trick myself into a world full of faith, potential, beauty, the trick of humanity at its best.

Unfortunately the present price seems to be avoiding humanity at its usual. Perhaps one day I’ll learn a new trick: the trick of moderation. I’ll understand the trick of giving time freely, being generous with the present and easy towards the future. No more panicked press to capture what slips through the cracks. 

Until then, take this rage from me. I can bear the grief of lost words if it means not hurting another, words unsaid and well-forgotten. It is the price of being alive, the priceless price of existing in a world full of change and endless chance.


Published by Marushka

I dream curiosity and write words that change brains.

12 thoughts on “Losing Time

  1. There are seasons in life. For now, when the fires are hot, guard your time fiercely. For me, I have so many writings, drawings and photos that I can scarcely adequately manage them. So when my grand daughter wants to throw her arms around my neck and call me “Paws” her name for me, I’m fine with it. Seasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey… I wanted to let you know that I loved this piece of writing. I have many of the same feelings but you express them here so beautifully. Thanks for sharing this wonderfully introspective piece of work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome! I hear you completely. I’ve written a lot of writing-related personal essays one of my other blogs, and yes it definitely felt iffy to hit the publish button.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hence the need for many writers to self-isolate from everyday life. A person who does not write can never comprehend how disruptive (and yes, destructive) it is to pop their head round the door and ask “Just one quick question”…and when they do it two or three times..Aaahhh!
    Roald Dahl had his shed, W.E. Johns of Biggles fame used to lock himself in his study for two weeks at a time, having meals left outside the door and I assume pissing in a pot. I am not so extreme and hence get little done. But I am developing a saint-like ability to maintain an outward appearance of calm as I answer their goddam stupid questions whilst screaming inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like you have your hands full right now! Reportedly the poet Robinson Jeffers had a door sign that said, “No visitors before 4.” Promptly at 4 p.m. every day, he and his wife left for their daily walk… XD. On a more serious note, I am torn because I really do value the people around me. Good luck with your saintly demeanor! If you find a good technique for maintaining it, please share 😀

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  4. ‘I am not yet a good enough writer to grasp at what should have been.’ Don’t be so hard on yourself, even Coleridge suffered from this problem, and by all accounts he was a pretty good writer…

    Liked by 1 person

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