Hitting the Wall

On Friday, I hit the wall. I actually had to research that phrase: I thought it was the one I wanted to use, but I just wasn’t sure. Sometimes I’m not sure about colloquial American phrases, despite the fact that I’ve grown up here.

Hitting the wall is what happens when you’ve been running and running, and suddenly you can’t run anymore. That’s what I’ve been doing, I think: all that running. And suddenly, I was completely out of energy. When I got home on Friday, I fell asleep, and I ended up sleeping much of the weekend.

I’m not going to try to write very much tonight. I do want to post about a few things that I haven’t posted about yet, and that I wrote or read or watched over the weekend.

First, I wrote a guest blog post for The Bookaholic called “What Are We Mything?” Here’s the first paragraph:

“When I teach classes on fantasy literature, I often start by having my students read Sigmund Freud’s essay “The Uncanny.” In that essay, Freud tries to figure out why we respond to certain events with a sort of creepy, uncomfortable fear, the sort of fear you feel when you see a ghost. (Each time I teach his essay, I think of Scooby Doo, shivering and whining until Velma reveals that the ghost is really the caretaker of the dilapidated old estate.) Freud says we feel the uncanny when we experience something that challenges our sense of reality, that makes us think our rational, scientific view of the world is inaccurate. Suddenly, we encounter the supernatural, and we start wondering if we really live in a world that can be explained by the laws of physics. Maybe ghosts do exist after all?”

To read the rest, you have to go look at the post! It’s all about why we need myth in our lives.

And I wanted to think about a quotation from a blog post by Terri Winding:

“A question today: What gets you to your writing desk or drawing board or rehearsal room or where ever else it is that you create your art? I don’t mean on those magical days when everything is flowing so well that a herd of elephants couldn’t keep you away . . . but on all the rest. What gets you into the studio, what overcomes distraction and procrastination, what helps you to put brush to canvas and pencil to page – even on those days when you’re tired, or stale, or fearful, or worried about a dozen other things?”

I was thinking about this particularly because I’m not writing right now – or I am writing, but it’s all Q&As and guest blog posts. Which I love doing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not working on the story I’m supposed to be writing. I’ve gotten Ivan and Blanchefleur to Professor Owl’s tower and just left them there. What gets me writing is that when I write, I get to escape to my own magical countries, and you know what? I like living in my own magical countries. They can be so much more interesting than this one. I actually like what’s inside my head. I wish I could go back there – maybe once I finish a few more things.

There’s a final thing I wanted to say. Over the weekend, when I was so tired, I watched the movie The Secret of Moonacre. I realized afterward that it has very low ratings – the reviews were not good. Well, you know what? All those reviewers are wrong. I loved it! I could see where the negative reviews were coming from. The movie does not have a linear plot, and it cuts abruptly from scene to scene. But the director is Hungarian, and I’ve seen those techniques used before in Hungarian movies. They are not flaws but choices the director made. And it’s visually beautiful – stunningly so. And the story is strange, unusual. I think we like what we’re used to. We feel comfortable when a movie goes the way we expect, when we can actually anticipate what’s going to happen. Anything strange, anything unexpected, throws us off. But my task, as someone who is a sensitive reader and viewer, is to understand the strange, to appreciate it. (I’m not saying it’s everyone’s task. But it’s my task. This is the way I was made, and what I was made for.)

The movie teaches me something: that when you have an unusual vision, you have to follow it. No matter what anyone tells you.

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2 Responses to Hitting the Wall

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    FYSMF (Funny You Should Mention Freud) —

    Sometimes after completing a major labor of love … and finally delivering the offspring thereof … I’ve noticed that I experience a bit of post partum depression …

    So watch out for that …

  2. Dayle says:

    I enjoyed The Secret of Moonacre…but possibly because as I child I loved the book it was made from (The Little White Horse).

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