Fingers poised above the keys, he was ready to begin writing. Yes, write, but about what? He would think of something, a subject would present itself, some topic would drift into his consciousness, and then he could get down to the real business of writing. He would assemble words and sentences and paragraphs with rigor and precision and even passion, crafting prose that awed with its brilliance and wooed with its ardor.
Politics was out. Everybody talked and wrote and screamed about politics. Not only had everything already been said, it had all been said too many times over and over. Besides, no one wanted to listen about politics, they only wanted to be heard. No, no, politics would never do.
Religion? Pass. He worked all that out in his head over 50 years ago and had nothing more to say.
Art presented possibilities. Everybody loved at least some kind of art, painting or pop music or decorative plates or video-on-demand. Art could be sad or funny, inspiring or insipid, and you could say ridiculous things with big words and somebody somewhere would take you seriously. On second thought, maybe writing about art was not a good idea.
Between art and politics and religion was culture. Ah, modern society. There might be some heretofore unseen insights that he could discover and share. This was a fertile field full of social media, clash of generations, riches and poverty, the –isms of race and sex, the complexities of being human in an increasingly inhuman, impersonal world — he perhaps could make new connections to startle and illuminate.
Yes, culture. His fingers relaxed slightly as he thought about culture. He thought some more as he pulled his fingers away from the keyboard and placed his hands in his lap. Still thinking, he turned to look out the window. It was hot out there, sun glaring, and he had to get up and close the blinds a bit to keep the room cool. That’s better now, he thought as he sat back down and started thinking about culture again.
Culture was really human nature writ large and to do that any justice one needed to write a novel, even a trilogy, or a big heavy book of history or philosophy. Proust wrote a gazillion words and even he couldn’t cover it all. The more he thought about it the more he felt that it was a bit more than he wanted to tackle, not right now anyway. Maybe next week.
Technology is a popular topic and people always seemed eager to learn about the latest gadgets and trends, but he didn’t own a smart phone and wasn’t quite clear on the concept of Twitter. Thirty years ago one could make jokes about not being able to set the time on the family VCR but that was child’s play, today it’s all a blur, clouds and streaming and hashtags and trending topics. He wasn’t ready to write about technology but was open to reading about it. Tomorrow, maybe.
He noticed it was late afternoon and that he was getting a bit drowsy. His fingers were no longer ready to pounce on the keyboard and his brain had given up the search for a suitable subject. His passion for words had waned as his body felt the inexorable pull of the couch. Creativity yielded, as always it must, to lethargy. It was time to lie down and take a nap.