Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: The Writer's Siren Song
By Carol Sprock
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No matter. I am not hurt because your new plans appear to allow no time for me. I am not afraid that you will abandon me though part of you wishes I’d disappear from your life. I do not brood because you never acknowledge me with anything except guilt, shame, and remorse.
I take no offense that you always seem surprised to see me whenever I appear, squeaking your shrill dismay as if I were a skanky mouse or toxic snake. I am not offended when you act as though you only just now recognize my presence, even though I have been snuggling with you this whole lovely afternoon lazing in the sun-skimmed summer shadows, the green breeze faintly shifting the hammock while we read the latest thriller.
I merely follow your lead in this dance of ours, my love. You choose the steps, the rhythm, the music. It is not I who needs perfectly sharpened pencils lined in military rows. It is not I who misplaced that specially weighted pen which kisses the paper so coyly, leaving strokes of glittering velvet green ink. Whether or not the laundry is clean or the house is dusted, the lawn is mowed or the kids are fed matters not at all to me. But those things do matter to you. And what kind of partner would I be if I did not keep you informed of all that is important to you?
Yet whenever I track these essential tasks, you say I derail your best intentions. You say I tempt you, I distract you, I weave webs of deception and dig pitfalls of digression so you can never finish your article or achieve your calling to write a book. You say I am a sluggard, which comment does pierce me since I never stop working, not even to sleep. I never leave you, despite what you think, despite some fickle fad of motivational routine you attempt. You say I chase you mercilessly but how merrily you enjoy the race. You screech in terror and panic, <i>No, no, no. Go away. Leave me alone.</i> But then you glance back with that glinting come-hither look, faking a stumble, beckoning me.
Oh who is the temptress? I ask. Not I. Who cries, <i>Help me, help me, Only you can help me?</i> Whose steps slow and falter, linger, waiting for my footfall, for my breath to tickle the hairs on the back of the neck? Who falls backward without a glance, swooning into my arms?
And what an embrace, once you and I succumb to our reality. Together we spin a world delicious in its enfolding immediacy, blanking out the shrieking munchkin editors, the zero word count, the unedited pages, the writer's block. This taut moment, here, now, is all.
Oh my, your water bottle isn't quite full, let's take care of it right now. Goodness gracious, how long has that stain been in the carpet? Let's get the Resolve. Even better—do you hear the cardinal's call sounding the start of spring? You need some fresh air, my dear. Let's take a walk, get refreshed. Yes, take my hand, love. Heed this siren song your heart sings. Steer from your course, leave your desk, escape your uncooperative poem dissolving into insipid prose. This moment with me can last forever.
It's what you want, what you need, what you long for. You know I can satisfy your most desperate craving, soothe your darkest fear, supply your sweetest release. I am Procrastination. Come, beloved. You know you want to.
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