Thursday, April 28, 2016

Problems You Can't Solve

When I sit at the keyboard the bad feelings descend. They are roused to combat by me writing. It’s a problem. It’s a big problem. A problem that, in a way, doesn’t exist. I give myself the pep talks. I tell myself that the worst sin is not trying. 

I have to remember that problem solving is often non-linear. Abstract problems are solved abstractly. Abstract problems are not solved by battened down, power right-brain effort. If you’re afraid that definitely monkeys with knives between their teeth are poised to bust through your window, ransack your room and take your wife, then a dissertation on why that couldn’t possibly happen, complete with spreadsheets, probability tables and well-configured diagrams are not going to alleviate the problem.

Staying at the wheel when it’s the last thing you want to do is the only thing you can do. Let the tears flow. Let the darkness swell and the inferiority writhe like a poisoned worm in the middle of your soul.

If I have a problem with my budgeting figures then I have to take a good look at my spreadsheet equations and data entry. If I have a problem of the mind, writers block, what do I do with my life, oh god, what do I do with my life--the solution to the problem, if there can ever be one, will come from a sideways, “oh wow I didn’t see that coming,” angle. If that is true, then it will not occur to you by sheer force of will. You are at the mercy of the pounding chaos of the infinite universe. Wizards and dragons, gods and demons, whatever it is that lies beyond the great veil of your five senses, it is from there that your answers await to tumble forth. You are powerless, in the meantime. 

Well, you are almost powerless. There is power in showing up when you don’t want to show up. It's a little grace you can give yourself, while you wait for the greater grace of the inscrutable beyond to be gifted to you.

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