An interesting phenomena has come over me in the week since I have decided that I would devote more time to writing–suddenly I have nothing to say. No blog posts, no journaling, no progress on the novel that I started, no tweeting even. It is an odd feeling for someone who can easily punch out 500 words before my brain can even catch up. Right now it seems I have to strain to even eke out more than a couple of sentences.
I think that perhaps it our nature as humans to resist change. I remember the first time that I consciously remember what seemed to me to be a major life change. The school that I first attended was a small parochial elementary school that was run by the Episcopal Church. Originally it had been a boarding school for the daughters of Episcopal missionaries, and had opened in Dakota Territory a few years before statehood was granted to North Dakota and South Dakota. Therefore, it was steeped in tradition. I remember lining up to go to chapel every morning before classes started for the day. We learned French starting in Kindergarten. Class sizes were so small, that it was possible for students to move up or down a class for individual subjects to fit their educational needs. There was an annual May Day celebration. At the end of the year, the flag that flew near the school was presented to a graduating sixth grader.
Beyond all those traditions, the actual buildings were beautiful. They were built from pink quartzite blocks taken from local quarries. The classrooms had hardwood floors. The playground area was huge, and unlike most elementary schools, was covered in grass rather than asphalt. The chapel had Tiffany stained glass windows, given as a gift to the bishop that had established the school. Carved entryways and railings abounded.
The small class sizes that had been such an asset would turn out to be the undoing of the school. Faced with declining enrollment and a lack of funds, the church made the decision to shutter the school. My parents enrolled my sister and I to a well established Catholic School a year before the school that holds such a fond place in my memory closed for good. The new school was of course a fine school in its own right. Having a much larger enrollment coupled with a much larger Catholic presence in our community, there were more resources and opportunities at our disposal. But somehow, the cinder block walls and vinyl floor tiling just seemed to make the place seem dystopian compared to what I had left behind.
The closed school remained empty for several years. It wasn’t torn down, however, as the “Main Building” was on the National Historic Sites register. Eventually additional buildings were erected and the campus was turned into a retirement community. I visited the Main Building recently, and it is still so beautiful that it puts an ache in my heart,even though the change that took place was ultimately a good one.
When I think of the years that it took for the school to be repurposed, perhaps a week to take a break and access my transition from business man to writer doesn’t seem that out of line. I realized today that not only had I not been writing, but my creative endeavours in the visual arts had come to a stand still as well. No painting, no photography, no ideas, really. So today I started to re-engage that creativity, as I think that creative energy flows into my writing. My fascination with clocks, along with my appreciation for music led to this:
I know, Neil Diamond doesn’t sound like my normal fare. A guilty pleasure. In addition I got some modeling clay. Lovely Wife can vouch for me being a champion Play-Doh sculptor, so I thought I would try my hand at something a little more permanent.
Of course, anxiety plays a part in my hesitant transformation. However, I think that the more that I am able to write and create, the more anxiety will dissipate.
WEDNESDAY FUN: Our New Tenants
Photo credits on this one go to Lovely Wife:
Mama Robin set up shop next to an outdoor lighting fixture. I can’t wait until her babies are born and hopefully get a good photo.