“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station.” Nerds quote this line from the emperor, followed by a little laugh. I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I always thought the little laugh was because most of us nerd types go through life functioning so below our operational abilities that the thought of being fully operational feels so dark side. Meanwhile we see a lot of other people who are caught up and running full tilt climbing a career ladder that usually leads to a better view from a larger cubicle.
For me, when I think of being ‘fully operational, there’s the added notion that my dad worked in weapons research, and I probably would have too if not for deciding to be a writer. I might actually be building a death star or some other secret weapon by now. But instead I find myself in a sort of malaise. It’s been so long since I’ve been fully operational that I’m slipping toward dark side thoughts and having dark side experiences. The old saying, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop” comes to me.
This notion of not being fully operational also applies in my approach to this Scribe Talk blog. I purposely decided on a blog that was narrowly defined as focusing on ‘talking’ about writing and not presenting the personal kind of stuff I did in the past. I also chose not to do much creative writing in this space. In effect I’ve been rationing my writing and playing more of a straight man. Maybe doing that has led me toward these dark side thoughts.
Over the last two years here in Tucson, while not being fully operational as a writer, I got caught up in some drama that mirrored situations from the long dead past. I marveled as I watched the patterns of behavior unfold, telling myself this can’t really be happening. I ended up in a place where my gall bladder shut down due to ‘false witnessing’ toward me and a friend. Another person yelled at me over the phone, dumping their life on me amidst some confessions, and I woke up the next day with the whole side of my face (where I hold my phone) inflamed in pain; my TMJ had returned unlike anything the last 20 years or so. This helped me realize that I hadn’t gotten ‘into a shitfest’ (yelling and all that) with anyone for at least 10 years.
I think this came up because I’m not leading an authentic life—I am not being fully operational. I hold back on a lot of things I might say because they touch on dark side stuff or it’s not the right moment or I already went through that. I’m focusing on the positive, but then people don’t ‘get’ me and all this negativity builds up until it finds a way out. I suppose like many true writers I’m just too sensitive to be with a group of people on a regular basis, and I needed to be reminded of that.
I don’t have a solution to this problem. All I know is that I cannot risk my health and step back into the chronic pain of psychic attacks on me just to be part of a group of friends. I need to listen to my intuition and be more careful about hanging out around people who go toxic. Whenever the idea that I think too much and am too sensitive comes to mind, I need to counter it by remembering the age-old remedy that it’s really other people who think too little and are too insensitive.
One thing I can change is my approach to this blog—bringing it closer to being fully operational like some of my previous blog spaces were. Maybe being more challenging and open with my writing in this space, adding some new topics and new lines of thought, will be some kind of remedy to the negative spiral I feel feel trapped in at times. Maybe sometimes I need to leave the reader thinking ‘what the heck is going on here?’ Hopefully, I won’t push you to the dark side. It’s just writing in a space, not a death star or anything like that.