Thursday, December 8, 2016

Writing and Imperfection

For the first decade of life, I had headaches. Daily.  Every day.  Occasionally they were mild, but often severe.  I saw various doctors.  Suffered through multiple scans.  At the end of the workup, the answers were no more forthcoming than the day we began.  There was never a clear antidote.  Never a divine potion.
Then something magical happened.  Exasperated, my parents took me to a biofeedback specialist who taught self meditation. And my life was transformed.

I won't say that my headaches went away completely.  They didn't.  But practicing regular meditation instilled in me a confidence and a calm that revolutionized my life.  At the age of ten, I learned to manage stress, physical discomfort, and visualize the place I wanted to inhabit in the world.  It helped center me.

Although the habit of daily meditation has fallen off over the years, I still return from time to time.  Whether physical illness or mental, there is a safe harbor in times of need.  There are few practices that have been so impactful on my life. 

The last year, for many reasons, has been hard. I have found myself pulled in too many directions.  And my centeredness has skewed.  My balance faltered.

I have been thinking a lot about this balance.  As a child, it was built on meditation and thoughtfulness.  As an adult, I now realize what has been missing in the last year.


My daily routine of putting thoughts into words had recently become too overwhelming.  My days were so disjointed that I had neither the emotional energy nor the physical time to place fingers to keyboard.

Because writing, as life, is excruciating.  Filled with psychic pitfalls, it is awkward at best and messy often.  The words come out disjointed and backwards, and rarely reflect the intangible emotion that circulates amongst the fussy neurons in my brain.

I am rarely satisfied with a piece, even after all the edits have been made.  Imperfection pervades my writing, my soul.

Yet somehow this imperfection provides that thing.  That thing which is missing most.        


Janice said...

Wonderful news for your loyal readers! I, for one, have missed your elegant (yet, often beautifully raw) writing.

PS I recently learned of Morten Lauridsen, esteemed composer. I have immersed myself in his music and what he has to say about writing music. Thought you might enjoy the following:

"As a composer, I'm not afraid to tell you that I think that composing is one of the most difficult things of all for me to do. For every note that I save, there are tens of thousands that I don’t. We’re trying to reach that very deep inner spot, and to do that takes a lot of digging. And a lot of sorting through.

“If we are to find joy and meaning in life, in the midst of affliction of all sorts, we go to music especial.”

For others, it’s writing.

I look forward reading more of your work.

tracy said...

Thank you, Dr. Grumet, you are, as always, an inspiration and a light. I have admired you for years.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You have been missed, Jordan. I hope your heart and head will compel you back to the keyboard.


Bob Fenton said...

As a fellow blogger, it is great that you are back and adding information that could be valuable to others, especially patients.

opwfredericks said...


Jordan, this makes me so happy. I posted a comment in your last blog entry about penning a novel. Consider it seriously.

You have a gift, my friend. Us it!

O.P.W. Fredericks