After chronicling our little journey filling out advance directives for the last…six? seven? eight?….weeks, I’m having trouble returning to normal blog-life. Not only does it look like I’ve lost most of my readership and Blogland friends (…there’s that dying topic at work again…) I can’t think of anything else to write about now. Full immersion in a topic will do that to you I guess. Who knew?
So I’ve decided to try a little free-writing to see if I can break the damn.
…whoops. I mean dam. Although on second thought, I probably did mean damn (as in why-am-I-so-blocked!?) down there in my subconscious. But for some reason my conscious mind thought dam was more appropriate.
“Damn?” Conscious Mind glanced up from his newspaper and raised his eyebrows. “A little vulgar, don’t you think?”
“Fuck you.” Subsconscious Mind was used to that kind of bullshit censorship by now. “It was just a play on words.”
Here’s a thought. Maybe…just this once…I should say what my subconscious wants me to say instead? Throw it a crust. A sop.
“A sop?” Subconscious Mind tried to change position in the filth on the stone floor but the chains were tangled. “What a pretentious bitch.”
Conscious Mind folded the paper and set it down on the table, picked up the cattle prod, and stood up.
Who knows? It might actually make it happy. (What a concept. A happy subconscious.) Maybe that’s even the whole problem? My subconscious is sending up messages and I’m not listening.
Conscious Mind stopped, startled, and glanced up at the ceiling.
Am I sitting on something? I should probably do that writing exercise where you write for ten minutes straight without stopping, even if it means just writing the same word over and over again. See if there’s something there.
Subconscious Mind scrambled to his feet and started yelling. “Hey!! Yes! It’s true, man! Listen to yourself!” He yanked the chains in frustration. “I’ve got good shit down here! GREAT shit! Magic swords! Tiger allies! Repentant bankers feeding homeless people! It’s crazy, man! You could turn the world on its ASS!”
Conscious Mind switched on the cattle prod and started forward again.
I feel like I’ve gotten lost up in my head lately…out of my heart. Where did the magic and compassion go anyway? I miss that voice.
‘I can make you FLY, man!! I can make you GLOW!!” Subconscious Mind was screaming and waving his arms frantically at this point. “I CAN HELP YOU FUCKING SLEEP!!!”
Maybe I’d finally get a good night’s sleep? Wake up rested for a change. Fuck! How great would that be?!
Conscious Mind froze and Subconscious Mind held his breath.
Shit! Why didn’t I think of this earlier? Time to start listening to my subconscious again, man! I’ve let my inner critic get completely out of control. What was I thinking?
The cattle prod flew out of Conscious Mind’s hands and he staggered back as if shoved.
I NEED my subconscious…
The shackles snapped open and fell from the wrists of Subconscious Mind. In one swift motion he stooped, picked up a handful of fresh feces, and threw it at Conscious Mind.
…AND my conscious mind to work together!
But the feces missed and splattered against the wall.
Otherwise, I’ll just be writing a bunch of nonsensical shit that doesn’t make any sense and, really, isn’t there enough of that out there already?
They both looked over at the newspaper headline on the jailer’s table, RUSH LIMBAUGH APOLOGIZES, and the tension in the room broke. Subconscious Mind grinned and Conscious Mind relaxed, his shoulders shaking with silent laughter.
So. If I now go back to the original sentence that started this whole thing:
So I’ve decided to try a little free-writing to see if I can break the damn.
…which word would I really rather use? Dam or damn?
Conscious Mind walked over and unlocked the massive timber door, swinging it back on it’s iron hinges. He stepped back and gestured for Subconscious Mind to pass through. Sub took one last look at his corner then walked out, clapping his shit smeared hand on Conscious’s shoulder and wiping it across the front of his white shirt as he passed.
Okay then. Damn it is.
copyright Dia Osborn 2012
Con paused briefly and shook his head as the pungent fumes wafted up from his chest. He chuckled and grabbed the cattle prod.
“Hey, Sub! Wait up,” he called, taking the steps two at a time. “You forgot something.”
But in the final draft, it would probably have to be dam.
Yahoo! What a wild ride! I hope it was as fun to write as it was to read. xo, C.
I definitely had a good time. 🙂
“Repentant bankers feeding homeless people!”
*shakes head* …fantasy writers. 😉
I must admit to some avoidance issues (associated guilt) on the directive information. As a single mom the topic was exactly what I needed to hear… and I loved the installments I did read… but I effectively convinced myself that if I wasn’t filling the paperwork out while reading those posts I was…
~Procrastinating in Idaho
Are you in Idaho, too?! I thought you were in the Bay area. It’s always nice to discover a kindred soul around here.
Yeah…I learned a lot about why only 25% or so of people have filled these things out (and a large number of them only did it by coercion, right before a medical procedure.) The subject matter is frightening, the choices are complicated, and it requires a lot of self awareness. But facing our fears and walking through it together anyway really changed us. It reshaped a lot of our perspective on the rest of our lives. I think there are a million different ways to approach an advance directive, from a two page form you fill out at the last minute in a hospital to harnessing it as a tool for building a richer, more satisfying, and purposeful life. We did it in depth but that’s not the only or right way to do it.
If you fill one out now, just think about the next five years. That’s what we did. The likeliest event that would cause our advance directives to come into play would be something sudden like a heart attack or car accident. We’ll take another look at them if either of us winds up with a terminal disease in the near future. One of the most important things we learned is that this is a living document that will grow and change and age right along with us, not something we fill out then file until “the time comes.”
Yes, I’m up on the Palouse-end though. Very very true about kindred souls, though the PNW (especially heading seaward) is much more nurturing and open than my Midwest childhood home.
It makes sense to only think about the next five years, especially in my case. In 5 years the youngest turns 18 (did I just type that?) Priorities will shift somewhat. And maybe, I’ll know more what I want at the end beyond a good death.
I came out here from Iowa so I know what you mean. 🙂
My youngest is 26! Ow.
I think Midwesterners take quite well to the PNW. (The trick is getting them that far from home in the first place.
*tosses a “)” up into the last reply*
You haven’t lost me as a reader, I have just had nothing to say. Your coverage of the topic was so complete, I had no questions. I’ve had my own brain freeze to deal with, too. You found a much more creative way to handle it, I just joined a health club and have been doing water aerobics every morning with a bunch of old people. We’re like those monkeys in the Japanese hot springs with snow on their heads and warm little heinies. My mind hasn’t started working again, but my body doesn’t care any more. I think spring will help.
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So swear words are bursting forth. When nothing else arrives, you’ve just gotta deal with what you’ve got, eh?
Although I’ve yet to lift a “directives” finger, I printed off the entire series, put it in a folder which now sits on my desk taunting me. In speaking about your topic with a friend, she asked me for a link to your site. This was a great and noble topic and it’s no wonder it left you feeling drained.
Y’know Linda, I did it as a research project for the blog, too, so we did stuff beyond what’s really necessary. I hope it didn’t scare you off. Although I admit, I’ve thought about getting a group of people together for a few evenings to walk through it all. It was such a great experience for us and we got SO much more out of it than just getting the paperwork done! Did you ever track yours down again? I’ve been really curious to know how hard it is to find it again once it enters the electronic system like that.
Dia, I haven’t had time to update my calendar, much less track down my a.d. But, once I get going on THAT project I’ll provide feedback where it’s due.