INERTIA

That horrible grinding noise you hear, like a teen-aged student driver shifting gears from first to second? That’s my brain.

* * *

My middle daughter is a talented pianist. As a young mom with a two-year-old and a 6-month-old to tend, she can no longer devote the time to her music that she once did. Yes, she still plays the piano…just not as nearly as much.

Martha commented recently that back when she spent hours each day playing the piano, she found it easy to sightread new music. “I guess I was so saturated with piano music, so fluent in the language, that reading music became second nature for me.” Nowadays, however, sightreading new music is more difficult.

The same thing is true about writing. When I write every day, writing is easy. I get caught up in the story, the creative juices start flowing, and words pour out onto the page.

If I miss several days at the keyboard, the creative juices thicken into sludge. When I finally sit down to write, I end up staring blankly at the computer screen while time shifts into slow motion.

My high school physics teacher, Mr. Wilford Gray, taught me that inertia is the tendency of a body in motion to remain in motion, or of a body at rest to remain at rest, unless that body is acted upon by an outside force.

Literary inertia: if I write, it is easy to keep on writing. If I do not write, getting started again takes a significant amount of “outside force.”

It has been a busy couple of weeks here at Kendallville. We graduated a college student and a high school senior, helped a daughter and her family move to the other side of the world, cleaned a house to ready it for a new tenant…

In other words, I did a thousand and one things besides write.

But today, it’s time to jump start my brain and get the gears turning again.

Don’t mind the grinding noise. It’s just my brain, overcoming inertia.

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