“(b)e comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world…” – Paul Harding, Tinkers
I pulled up Cricinfo this morning looking for blog post ideas. This is never a good sign, as it is a sign that I am out of ideas, and that the post will be a struggle.
When writing is a struggle, it is no fun, and this is supposed to be fun.
At a work happy hour the other night, a work pal was talking to another work pal about reading and how sometimes she felt obligated to read in the evenings – pleasure reading, mind you – and the other work pal said to her (sans benefit of diction), “honestly, if it doesn’t get you excited and you don’t have to do it, then don’t do it – life is too short.”
Lately writing here has felt like a chore – and so in that case I have thought about quitting. Just stopping. If spending time on this site isn’t fun then why stress about it – and I do stress about it – why spend time on it. Just stop. Move on.
In the past few weeks, I have found inspiration and joy in cooking, in Arsenal, in the great fiction I have been reading this summer, in bike rides, in my volunteer work. I have not found inspiration in cricket or in writing, and especially not in writing about cricket.
And so it should follow that it is time to hang it up. To go dark.
I thought long and hard about it this summer, especially since the aforementioned work happy hour discussion, and today I have decided to stick with it. To keep writing, to keep writing about cricket, to keep writing here.
And, yes, I can be a tad dramatic when it comes to this silly little blog, but this space means a lot to me – I am quite proud of I have done here – and nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it was, then everyone would paint and write and sing and bake perfect scones and run triathlons and play baseball professionally. But we don’t all do all of those things. Because doing just one of those things is hard. They are supposed to be hard – that is one thing that makes them worth doing.
If I could come here every day and dash off 1,000 words with ease, then I would be bored within six months. But the struggle, and the work, and the difficulty is what keeps us coming back to these things we love: be they writing, or painting, or fixing up old cars. I need to just remind myself of that every once in a while.
Yesterday I was in a bike accident. I am fine, physically, but I have been a real state of melancholy ever since. When I fell I was shocked by how few people stopped to ask me if I was all right. Completely shocked. I was curled up in a ball in the middle of the street, bleeding, and cars just drove right by. I found their lack of compassion for a fellow human utterly disheartening.
Two people did stop, though. They made sure I was okay, got my bike out of the street, and offered me a ride home. I think about their kindness and I get a lump in my throat. And the anger I feel about those who did not stop disappears.
We are all connected, and the world runs on the energy and the compassion we put back out into the world. I think about those two people, those two complete strangers who stopped, and I think: that is the kind of compassion that keeps the earth spinning around. I have been trying in the last year to be a better person, to forgive a little more freely, to check my anger, to say hello to strangers, to smile at passers by – and I like to think that the positive energy I have been trying to muster came back to me yesterday.
The preceding three paragraphs sound like a digression but they are not. The world runs on our energy. It runs on us creating, and struggling, and putting our creations and our struggles back out into the ether. And so while writing a cricket blog might seem completely inconsequential, it is not. It is a small cog in the machine that makes being human worth it – that allows for us to see a fellow human in trouble and stop and make sure they are okay.
That goes for all of you fellow cricket bloggers out there – even those of you rolling your eyes at me – you sitting down and struggling and getting a post out is what helps keep the stars from going out.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you are stuck with me for a least a little while longer.