The above image is a picture of a 2 x 4. This is a piece of wood those who desire your attention in order to deliver a message use to smack you over the head and get your attention. The image was gifted to me by my friend, Lisa McSherry.
In Wicca, we call “A ha!” moments the Cosmic 2 x 4. We joke that it has its own mystery. Because we joke, the Cosmic 2 x 4 really is its own mystery now. The Morning Pages, in fact, might be a prayer to the Cosmic 2 x 4. But not always. Creative people have a shadow that’s harder to recognize than even our sibilant inner critic: I don’t know what to call it (Captain Obvious, maybe?) but whatever it is, it’s spectacularly dense, and has a frustrating tendency to smack into trees while texting, walking and chewing gum. And trees, after all, are what provide us with our cosmic 2 x 4s.
I got smacked with a Cosmic 2 x 4 yesterday. I’ve had a slew of technological wtfs lately, and none of them are traceable to rhyme or reason, nor is there a convenient astrological connection for me to blame them on. My Twitter got hacked (unsuccessfully, but persistently enough to cause annoyance.) As a previous post stated, my writing file wasn’t deleted – it just disappeared – and it’s the second time that that happened. Ironically, a good chunk of the old material had magically reappeared on our server only a week or so earlier. In fact, I write about it disappearing again in the very next blog post. We recovered all but what I considered one of my poetically best rituals ever, and then, yesterday my brain put it together:
I’m writing about loss. This loss isn’t even death loss, which we at least can fake being equipped to handle. This is pure, reasonless, build a life and make awesome stuff and have it swept out from under you loss. Because I sucked it up and left my ex instead of letting the situation continue to degrade, I buried my own sense of loss and horror in guilt for leaving. That’s not to say there wasn’t drama. The New Year’s Eve of 2002, I’m glad no neighbors were home to hear me wailing. Even so, my screaming, semi-suicidal meltdown both times my writing file disappeared were tapping into that pool of free falling terror and pain. Yes, my writing file contains a huge chunk of my life’s work, especially since I’ve digitized a huge portion of it. And that’s how divorced people feel, including me, even though I’ve buried it, and I keep burying it because I’m a newlywed now. I need those memories, and those feelings. I have to if I’m going to write this book authentically.
And since these are not pleasant feelings and memories. a cosmic bludgeoning it is.