It is that time again. Time for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. This one is the beginning of series of seasonally inspired journeys into creativity, or so I am led to believe. And no doubt there will once again be a whole slew of amazing contributions, as the number of participants in the challenge seems to grow every week, and they are all quite gifted. Some have already been created! We were even warned in advance about how wonderful today’s prompt would be, ensuring that all creative juices were flowing nicely.
Then the ding on my phone came along, the with a little text saying: “It’s here! It’s here!” I was specifically staying away from all things bloggy this morning to ensure all my creative juices were primed for today’s prompt. And it is a mighty good one. Except for one thing.
I am totally drawing a blank. In a way that I actually find oddly disturbing.
So today at least I am inspired by the prompt in another way, basically to explore this odd feeling of mine. Maybe if I get it out of my system I will clear the way for the actually creative piece being called for.
The challenge this week: ” I want you to choose a favorite carol and re-write it with the theme of a Christmas Dinner. You have to tell your readers which carol it is and they have to be able to sing your version back to themselves. That means the right tempo and beat. ” A very clever idea and sounds like fun. And as I say I am drawing a complete blank and have a hollow feeling in my gut that makes no sense for a simple bit of writer’s block.
The question is: Why?
I look deep into myself for the answer and this is what I am finding. I have spent much of my life feeling that I did “not quite belong”. Never seem to quite be able to find my place. And it is more so during the holiday season. Not just because I was raised Jewish, but because this season is all about coming together; about celebrating family and the tradition and all that once was that makes our society special, as well as all that can be to improve it even more. Tradition has a role in stability, and the traditions that abound around the winter season are a major part of our cultural identity.
I have never been fully part of it.
I dawned on me that I don’t even know what a traditional holiday dinner is. Even thanksgiving never meant that much to me. In my mind, the Thanksgiving we just had was the only really memorable one I have ever had, and the only one that remotely had a traditional feel about it for me.
Even more disturbing in some ways was the whole song side of things. Music is also a major part of cultural Identity, and while I have an appreciation of music, and even some musical skill, it is not really a part of me. This too has always made me feel somehow alienated. I did not even realize that there is a difference between a Christmas carol and a Christmas song until today. And as much as music is one of the defining characters of the season, I realized that I don’t actually know the full words to a single song or carol. This itself adds to the whole sense of dislocation.
In recent weeks I have been scrubbing my soul in an attempt to rejoin the living, so this realization seems well in keeping with my recent journey. But oddly the hollow in my gut this time is almost painful, and I think that if I clear out the muck and replace it with clear fresh loving energy I will have made a major step in the right direction; a step that is most definitely necessary just because of how difficult it seems.
Therefore as challenging as this particular challenge actually is for me, I will attempt it.
But first I have to finish scraping the muck.