Tuesday, June 1, 2010

of unicorn hunting and hamster wheels

Lately, INTERN has been overwhelmed by the sense that she should stop jabbering so much and free up her head to learn something—empty the proverbial cup so it can be filled with better and more sparkling waters. INTERN has spent the past week wandering around town having very earnest internal debates over how best to do this. Questions arise like "is it possible to spend so much time on one's laptop and still soak one's soul in Deep Truths, or should INTERN throw everything 21st century-related on the stinkbarge and toil at her typewriter?" and admonitions also, like "INTERN, you have not been doing Serious Writing! You have been fooling around with Unserious Things and writing Unserious Books and your brain is not getting any smarter!"

Then last night INTERN and Techie Boyfriend watched a movie about a French painter who lived a life of back-breaking drudgery and died friendless and abandoned in a mental asylum, but made beautiful, wild, enchanting paintings of trees—trees that definitely, somehow, cavort with Deep Truths.

Now, INTERN just isn't sure about anything. The world seems to be made up of millions of hamster wheels of all different sizes, and INTERN is deathly afraid of spending her life on the wrong one, or spending it on the little hamster wheels instead of the big ones. Then again, a hamster wheel is still a hamster wheel.

This is all to say that INTERN is hunting some personal unicorns right now, and that things might get a little choppy, blogwise, as she tries to integrate all these creative ambitions and alter egos and find the best possible hamster wheel to run on. INTERN is certain she can find a way to make beautiful, wild, enchanting Serious Writing and also keep a blog/do book promotion/various other Laptopian pursuits, but it's something that needs INTERN's attention because it won't necessarily happen on its own.

Best wishes to all and to all a good day!


  1. Don't forget to keep that water bottle filled with Gatorade inside your hamster tank. You don't want dehydration to get between you and your art as you spin your way to new heights of enlightenment. Also, some fresh wood chips always cheer me up. Good luck.

  2. Muse Diane says no moving forward without paying forward. She really meant it, meant paying forward's underlying purpose is to move forward by sharing insights and contributing to fellow poet's progress.

  3. I have a suspicion that intern is a young hamster and doesn't realize that there will be many hamster wheels in the future. Some may even disembark from there stationary stand and roll off to who knows where, but have no fear, wherever you go, there you are. As the great Thich Nhat Hanhster says, don't forget to "Smile, breathe and go slowly."

  4. Even if you think you're on a hamster wheel, you're never spinning your wheels.

    I learned more waiting tables that applies across the board to every facet of my life than I have in any other job. Or possibly college.

    Wherever you are there is something useful to learn. Sometimes the useful thing you're learning is "This is not where I want to be." You can check it off the list and move on.

    Do not panic. Nothing is a waste of time and everything is fodder for your literary ambition.

  5. We never know if we're in the right hamster cage! 'Laptopian' - love it! How do I get citizenship in Laptopia?!

  6. Ahhh... Grasshopper-ette, when life doth descend like Big-Ass thunderstorms of the soul... seek Huck Finn!

    Haste yee back ;-)

  7. "This is all to say that INTERN is hunting some personal unicorns right now..." Wow. This has to be the best post ever explaining why a blog is going on hiatus. Thanks for the smile and best luck with sorting through things.

  8. Best of luck! I for one think it is totes possible to have a happy fun life and still do Great Work. I don't know about Serious Work, because I'm not sure of your definition, but you can do work that makes real connections with readers and makes other people's lives brighter and clearer, and you can do it without going the Van Gogh route.

  9. Great post! You just described me. Mirrors can sometimes be depressing.

  10. What is “the Good”? Jesus, now you ask. As everyone ages, the things that make life worth living become more complicated. Often times, we wake up to realize that our dreams have devolved from inspirational epiphany to the vacuous leading the vacant. Most Americans eventually find themselves in this position, but few if any have the courage to confront it, so kudos to you. Clearly you have two choices (as does everyone who tackles this situation): 1) Make what you’re doing more meaningful (against what appear to be insurmountable odds) or 2) find something more meaningful to do (of which you may know not).
    Remember that hackneyed phrase of Joe Campbell’s,” Follow your Bliss”? Well, what if you don’t know what your Bliss is? What if to gain your Bliss you must make a sacrifice you are unwilling or unable to make? Life is full of seemingly unanswerable questions. The only concrete piece of advice I can give is to imagine the times in your life when you were most in crisis, and then remember the hopes and dreams that kept you going. Let these be your guides to the hard times yet to come, of which there will be many.
    And don’t forget to smile: neurologically, the physical act of smiling can trend your emotional response towards happiness. Believe it.
    May the wind be always at your back, my dear.

  11. I am really enjoying the hamster wheel analogy :)