Journal

Like a Reservoir

12 Sep , 2017  

I’ve said it before: I don’t believe in writer’s block. The mind is a reservoir. Sometimes, it runs too dry and low on fresh ideas, too sluggish and stagnant to be worth lifting the heft of a pen and dipping it into the inkwell. At other times, it is overflowing – a jumble of sparkling clear thoughts that flow too fast, like whitewater rapids leaping over jagged boulders of introspection and the still undercurrents of common sense. To be a good reservoir, it has to be maintained at just the right levels. Influx and outflow in equilibrium, unconscious and consistent effort, like breathing. A little something in reserve for the drought, though a writer can wring droplets of blood from a handful of sand, if need be. Other outlets are needed, though, for the overflow, because when the dam breaks, a raging silence rushes out, scouring everything in its path.

Silence slips into the tiny crevices between thoughts, swelling, stretching out its earlobes and elbows to break them apart and shatter them like rainbow shards of cheap, carnival glass. A pretty distraction: a million shards sparkle in the sunlight. Mesmerizing…

Words fail—no, words never fail. We sometimes fail the words, using them with imprecision. We allude, vaguely, to thoughts and ideas we refuse to commit to with resolute specificity. We snark around in the dark, never quite saying, directly, what we mean. The short, declarative sentence is a line in the sand; immovable, it can’t be redrawn or retracted or redacted.

Silence, then, is not “writer’s block.”

Silence is wisdom.

Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; and A New Leaf for Lyle. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young at heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.

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5 Responses

  1. marianallen says:

    LOVE THIS POST! You need a Like button. And a Love button!

  2. A very interesting view poInt. Silence is important to do anything I feel .But how much is too much silence varies .Right?

    • Right. At some point, the silence of wisdom becomes the silence of resignation. If it festers, it becomes the silent refusal to speak at all, even to counter injustice. It’s the silent vacuum of space turned the silent suck of a black hole, eager to swallow the light.

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