ohnothing

oh nothing

I almost shut down my blog yesterday, on a whim.  I logged in, pushed the new post button out of rote memory, and then paused.

The blank screen is so familiar to me that it rarely looks blank to me. I see the completion of its message, or at least the start.

The cursor isn’t tapping its foot impatiently, it is softly breathing, consistent in its repose.
But yesterday, it was just blank.
There was no life there, and I found myself needing to look behind the clockwork face. I went to settings. I exported the contents, titling it all “just in case”, and then pressed down onto the Delete Button.

Are you sure?
I live on the Internet, I know that no delete button would just immediately send content into the ether. I know the protocol is one final prompt.

Are you sure?
Are you sure?

Without releasing the button, I slid the cursor away.  “There’s mine fields on Internet,” my husband, Dave, would say, but this wasn’t one.  Nothing happened when I stepped off the button.  In the 12 minutes the weight of my heart held it down, wandering through memories and possibilities alike– not a single thing happened.  And in the minutes prior, nothing happened then either.

I almost shut down my blog yesterday, on a whim, and I’ve thinking about why ever since.
Thinking if it’d be different if the impulse had been rewarded with explosion.
Thinking if it’d be different if I wasn’t so afraid of that three word question.

So afraid I didn’t even want to peek into the dark
and see if it was there.

Are you sure?
Are you sure?

My husband would say that was the only sentence that could stop me in my tracks.

Is anyone really sure of anything?

In my head, I sip Dave’s coffee.  It’s too sweet, it’s too hot.  I grimace because I’ve never understood the sorts of things he consumed.  He grimaces because his coffee is artwork and my senses are moving too fast to experience them.

I lay in bed, thinking of the buttons I pressed, talking to a man who I know is dead.  His voice lives inside my head, preserved in pieces of true moments and reasonable manifestations of his opinion.   He is always 12,858 days old.  He is always dead. He is always alive. He is always unimpressed by my counting of time, or the edgier impulses of my whimsicality.

In my mind, he is holding his coffee and cigarette in the same hand.  He stopped smoking in real life years ago, but if anyone deserves a cigarette in the aftermath of life, it is my husband.

He looks young, but then, I am not so ageless as he.

“What do you think it means?” I ask him.  He tells me a story I lived alongside him.  A story about the man who lived on a sofa outside our first apartment.  We would joke some days, when the termites fell through onto our stove, or when the heater turned itself on during the summer heat waves.  We would joke that his house was nicer than ours.

At night, the man would take out a book of matches and mutter to himself. He’d light them one at a time and threaten to burn down the sofa.  He never did.  He loved the sofa. He loved his home.  He just wanted to remember that it was a home he chose, not a prison, a home that he could leave.  He just wanted to hear himself ask the question “Are you sure?” and know that he was not.  He burned his matches to taste freedom, to hear certainty, to feel fear.
To feel anything.

Everyone said he’d never burn that old sofa, but I would still worry when Dave would toss a booklet of matches his way.

“Are you sure?” I’d ask, watching the man beam a smile at us as we drove by in the morning.

“I am.” he said, “And now he’ll get a chance to be sure, too.”

Are you sure?
Are you sure?

I almost got to that question, but I didn’t get quite that far.
Whims never carry me very far.

If I want to go anywhere specific, I have to ride stories. Sturdy true stories, lined with steel buttons and fanciful lace.  If I want to go somewhere important, I have to share coffee with the people who live in my head.

I almost deleted my blog yesterday, on a whim,
but the whim sputtered under the weight of me,
and thankfully the buttons I pressed were just matches
not mines.

My cursor keeps breathing, softly, steadily, in repose.

And I am still sure of nothing–
because nothing is something I’ve seen in action.

Yesterday, I almost deleted my blog on a whim.
And nothing exploded,
And nothing exploded,
And nothing exploded.

The matches burnt out in my hands,
and nothing burned.

210 thoughts on “oh nothing

  1. I haven’t made it to the prompt yet. The idea if it gnaws at me though. Would my words be missed? Would I miss my words? Would I feel less guilty about missing all the words of others I no longer have time for? Would I feel even more guilty for missing even more words.
    But I started blogging on a whim, so perhaps it would be fitting to stop one day on one as well… then again, that would make a decent story… and I’d want to share it… but where would those words go? Round and round I go.
    I want to shut off my brain.
    I want to sleep.
    The mountains are calling, and soon, so very soon I will answer and maybe that will help. It has before.

    Liked by 21 people

  2. Although someday I’m going to better at comments but right now I just want to say – I love this. I love the coherent but still stream of consciousness. I loved the repetition of the question “Are you sure?” and the vignette about the man on the couch was perfection. Anyway, good thing you eased off that button, in my opinion.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. As Edwyn Collins says “As the world keeps turning, you got to keep on learning, you got to keep on yearning, you got to keep on burning.” You almost deleted the blog on a whim but you didn’t because you have the freedom of choice but you chose not to. We are all breathing a sigh of relief. It is OK to have these feelings but without your words, opinions, stories and shining lights, this world would be a much duller place. Keep the flame alive, keep writing about Dave, for it is wonderful to keep him constant in our hearts and minds and keep enjoying life and what it has to offer, safe in the knowledge that you are a writer whose stories people always want to hear🙂

    Liked by 9 people

  4. I agree Rara – you have the power to make that decision. I went into the hospital last Thursday for a day surgery – simple process done many times daily. It went horribly wrong and they punctured a main vessel in my heart. I almost died twice and I regained some consciousness Sunday but only full on Monday. I have many dressings where tubes and pipes were inserted. I was discharged today (Tuesday) – having nearly lost my life but not by any choice I made.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. As always, such beauty here, maybe more so when we’re reminded of how easily it can be taken away. Although this reminds me of how I’m often trying to teach my kids to be careful, because some things cannot be undone, some injuries are permanent, some hurtful words echo in perpetuity. You’ve also reminded me of the flip side of this warning. Some words (like yours) are forever with us, having already changed us (for the better, may I add) just as those years (days, minutes) with Dave are forever. Even if you’d hit delete, you’d be there with us anyway. (Although it would have been such a loss not to read all the future treasures you have in store.)

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I got scared reading this. Thinking of you almost deleting your blog, on a whim, made me think of me doing that with my blog. It scared me. It would break my heart – the deleting or either blog. All that creativity, all that love, all that sharing and caring – gone. Nothing is permanent. Nothing. Clearly I have some letting go to do. But not yet🙂
    Alison❤

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Yeah, let’s leave the whimsical ‘maybe I’ll delete my blog’ thing alone for awhile. Too many hearts on the Interwebs need all the words your whimsy has to give. And you are so, so giving, Ra. Thank you.

    Peace,
    C
    P.S. I have been whimsically considering a sort of blog restart – new page and new themes to go with my new life … if and when that ever starts. Sometimes just the idea of change makes my heart feel heavy.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I’m glad you didn’t delete your blog, but if you did, it would be your choice and I’d understand.

    As a teenager, I nuked my first online profile on Bolt.com on a whim. I can’t even remember why now, but even now I’ll have days where I wonder: is it worth continuing a blog? Does anyone want to hear what I have to say? Is my blog boring? I always decide it is worth it though, thanks to the community I’ve found.

    If one day you do decide to set fire to your digital home, we’ll still be here. Those relationships don’t disappear overnight. We want to be involved in your life and will make sure you know we’re still here even if you’re not blogging.

    I hope you continue though as your words have more impact than you know and it would be sad if that voice on the internet wasn’t there anymore x

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Gosh, my pre-trial trials caused me to nuke everything I was before, online. I still am friended with those from the old world, though mostly on Facebook. I am glad you are here, Dan.🙂 Not just on my blog. In the world.❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not sure what to comment here… while I’ve said it many times before.. your writing moves me so, SO much. I love when new posts arrive in my inbox. I love seeing your Fbook posts too.. getting a glimpse of you. I wonder if you did delete your blog.. how would those beautiful words tumble out – another book?… more Fbook or Instagram?
    So…I’m glad you did not delete your blog yesterday.. I hope your conversations with Dave give you solace. I hope our comments make you feel loved.. I hope for you❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It does matter. It’s funny because I just saw the back to school picture on FB that you posted– the one also in your post– and teared up because I remembered one from last year or maybe the one before… oh, I don’t even know. But I’m so grateful to bear witness to these little ones growing up. They’re going to heal the world– that’s one thing I am sure of.❤

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You almost deleted your blog today? But instead you took me to coffee. It’s slightly sweet, but also bitter. My hair falls and hangs in my eye. You push my lock of hair back, not because it bothers you, but because you want me to see. You almost deleted your blog today? But instead you continued to foster my relationship with a man who has already died. I continue to marvel at the wisdom of this someone. To me Dave is someone I’m still becoming to know, in my minds eye, this dead man is as alive as you or me. I wait patiently between posts, what wisdom will Dave impart today? You almost deleted your blog today? But instead you wrote your wisdom, and brought us along for the ride. You almost deleted your blog today? But instead, a shiny box arrived in my inbox wrapped with a beautiful bow. What’s inside? You almost deleted your blog today. Another frightfully wondrous thing that happened here. Thanks for the ride.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Sung in the right notes (you hit them all the time), these words (artistic liberty taken) say it all, dear Rara:

    You’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter
    Dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause you are a champion,
    and we wanna hear you, Rawr!
    🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Not surprising, the first comment I read on here was DJ’s and it’s the one that hits me the most. I have already semi-disappeared/tried to leave/run away…so I have thought seriously about just not coming back. A quiet blackout, no advance notice, just poof. Will it end here, or will FB be next…then twitter…then Instagram…? Will anyone remember me, think “oh yeah, where’s what’s her name?”, or just chalk me up to one of many wannabes who isn’t a “real” enough writer to count? Is it worth the heartbreak and hurt feelings when you do have friends? Is this just a way to beat myself up in public for not being good enough? Is it egotistical to even question all of that?

    All questions I struggle with now…so I have promised myself I won’t do anything until 2017 if I do decide to do anything else, whether that’s quitting or venturing ahead. I don’t regret moving away from NAPR at all, but my enthusiasm for my new space is slow going, partly because of timing with life but mostly because I keep feeling more and more inferior and like an impostor among other writers . So I won’t shut down…today…because there may be things I still want to say and at least then I know I have the option.

    I’m glad you didn’t delete, but I totally get it and am glad you put this out there.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. I’ve almost hit the delete button a few times, but chose to go on hiatus instead. I posted to my readers that I was taking time away from the blog and will be back. Sometimes I came back in a few weeks. One time I came back after a year. Either way it was still there. I’m glad you didn’t delete.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I do take breaks, though usually makes my relaxation takes the form of binge posting.😉 Thank you, Bradley, for reading and sharing a bit of your strategy and story. Love!

      Like

  14. I don’t think my ego could take the silence and lack of explosion if I deleted. It’s not a good reason to continue writing, but it’s a reason. I’m glad for whatever reasons keep you storytelling. Stories are life, and yours are good ones.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I hear my words of thirty years ago in your voice. The voice of love and loss, but he is always part of you. He always will be. Now thirty years later you inspire my thoughts and memories. I know, I’m trying to be poetic and sensitive, and it doesn’t make sense the way I’m writing, but this just hit me, like me, but it is you. xoxox Stay here. Keep sharing your words and your heart. Love is so powerful and lasts in the most mysterious and unexpected ways.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Girl, you know I’ve been there. Friends like you talked me off the ledge. I’m still getting hate from everywhere. “Freelance know-it-all.” “Who does she think she is?” …& those are the “nicer” comments.
    Most of them are outside of the blogging community – but the one’s that hurt me the most came from people I thought were my friends.

    Dave knew the importance of the “Are you sure?” & He didn’t waste that type of question on just anyone. Listen to him. & Listen to your heart – as they are both the same.

    I’m here for you either way. & Although I slip in & out & go through my own set of trials, that will not change.
    “You are doing a fucking great job!” Trust in those truths.😉❤
    I love you, soul sister.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. I have a lot of thoughts on this, because you know me, that is all I do is think.

    1st — If I am not allowed to commit blogicide, then neither are you!

    2nd — Yes, your blog has a life of its own, as does mine, as does everyblogger! (Everyblogger, kinda like everypony :D)

    3rd — Is there anything I can do to help you?

    4th — (((hugs)))

    5th — Thank you for being you

    6th — Maybe we should have a blogging circle where each member does a guest post for the blogger on the left and the blogger on the right gives the topic. I just came up with that, probably a silly idea.

    7th — (((hugs)))

    8th — (I am so sorry for letting you know about my impromptu trip😦 )

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Weird but true, so my reader isn’t working properly. So, I read this post but when I clicked to come to your site, the text of what you wrote isn’t here, only images that are on the page are loading and my own comments. It’s a bit surreal considering what you wrote in the post. Honestly, I can’t imagine you not here in this space, but I also think that you should only be where you want, so when it no longer includes this blog, that will be the way it is.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Keep writing, keep writing. This struck a chord on many levels with me. I recently had an anonymous comment from an anonymous source who knew me. He also loved me once, but didn’t have the courage to show himself. He never does. It stopped me in my tracks and made me sick to my stomach. That’s a danger in writing your soul, I guess. But it’s my soul and my truth. It won’t stop me from telling the harrowing tale

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Spectacular and painful and moving and beautiful. I am grateful that you chose not to hit the button. I am grateful that you shared this and that I was able to read it. Wonderful post; thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I sent you a message dear, very new to the blogging world so I wasn’t sure how to respond to your post, please forgive me, I just write and push publish lol no idea what I am doing but don’t ever push that delete button, your gifted!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Oh my god …so much love pouring in here and it instantly makes me feel loved too. I’m very new here and stopped by the 1st time and I’m already touched by all the love. You are a wonderful person and your blog radiates love….don’t stop….continue to spread the love u have been🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Our brain and our feelings are two things that are very close, and for some people (sensitive people), at the slightest threat they feel encounted to, their brain reaction is to rip that menace at all cost so as to feel emotively secured, well it’s from my point of view, perhaps you are not as a dramatic personage as me. You are very talented, am happy that I came accross this post, because I frequently face the same problem when i am emotively endangered.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Life, death, emotions are all temporary except for love. Your love for your husband keeps you going, writing, breathing, remembering. Life is a temporary condition. Relearn how to laugh and enjoy the beauty that is life. It is out there, seek joy.

    Liked by 5 people

Rawr?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s