Mental Block

I stare in vain at my screen. Today makes it exactly a week that I have been trying to write. It feels as if I’ve got something trapped deep within me, trying to find expression. But I cannot find words to articulate it. My computer screen glows white, waiting for the command to start generating characters. All the letters of the alphabet stare at me from the keyboard, creating a kind of collaborative mockery. And the computer lights blink on, signaling their readiness…

I feel despondent as I sit there, trying to figure out what exactly it is that would give me relief. Like a computer system that has hung, trying without success to make sense of all the information bombarding it, I struggle without end to return to balance – that state of calm and satisfaction that has so eluded me. But all my trials end in nothing.  “This is not my normal self,” I reason, but then normalcy is fast becoming a strange word in the light of my most recent experiences.

I try to think of something beautiful to write about, a kind of utopian reality that would bring me that feeling of having had a breakthrough. But nothing lends itself to my assistance – not even my spongy memory can evoke any beautiful experience to write about. I consider calling this experience a “mental block”. That would be a good name for it. Yes! As if an invisible hand were detaining a torrent of ideas trying to surge through my mind. If only I could get that hand off my mind…

I think of my past. I consider myself to have been relatively fortunate in life, with an early successful start that boosted my confidence and gave me the guts to tackle every challenge thinking I would win. That winning attitude kept me till I started learning the realities of life – the stark truth about the inadequacy of every man that dwells on the surface of this planet, and the possibility of failure every time anyone called ‘human being’ tries a thing. I learnt about success before failure…

The future waits to be explored. And it carries with it the mystery and secrets of the challenges that will yet confront every human who reaches it. The future holds within it promises and threats, assurances and uncertainties, hope and despair. But all these remain unknown to all except one who holds time in his hands – the power that be, or so I have come to believe. Nevertheless, our part is to hope, and believe we will fare well in that future, the details of which we know not…

A multitude of ideas suddenly barrage my mind. But I am none the better for it. From philosophy to politics, I have a billion things to write about. But topics don’t provide a way of escape for me. I still need substance. And several topics do not seem interesting enough to venture into. They are just attractive white tombs. On examination, they are full of rotten flesh and dry bones, the likes of which causes a man nightmares – nothing that prospers human existence, just plain old theories…

I’ll have to stop now. Life is waiting to be lived. And the direction in which I’m headed is yielding nothing yet. The frustration of trying again and again to produce meaningful material through repeatedly unsuccessful efforts is getting at me. I’ll have to get something someday. Luck has to be on my side. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find something meaningful and worthwhile to tinker with, and maybe tinkering will lead to some serious effort at producing substantial literary stuff. Just maybe.

July 4, 2012

Author: thetoyintaiwo

My name is Oluwatoyin J. Taiwo – a Christian, an Engineer, and a Writer. I enjoy reading, travelling and watching football + lawn tennis. I love working with young people, especially teenagers. I believe that people are shaped by the words they hear or read, and our most important decisions are those we make in the first three decades of life.

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