A lot of oysters but no pearls

by Jennifer on February 16, 2009

Highlight of my day so far? Seeing a moving truck parked one  street over, backed up to a house that is not mine. The sarcasm drips, in case you missed it.

Update: Half our stuff still in boxes. Nothing on the walls but the growing cling of frustration. Yes, we’re still planning to move at the end of the school year, but that feels like a long way off right now. I need to decorate something.


Some of you may remember my failed attempt at installing window blinds last year, and the result which proved to have, uh, shortcomings.

But that was then. You should know that lawn bags full of no grass grows under our feet here at Casa de Harvey. In fact, our efficiency makes me laugh.* Take a look. I think you’ll notice a huge difference.

Did you notice? One photo was taken at night, and the other was taken during the day!

*By laugh, I mean cry on the inside and a little bit on the outside, too.


I came across these words the other day, and they almost knocked me over…

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.
— Henry Miller

All the stress lately seems to have kneaded my creativity into something small and unyielding, like a lump of clay that was once shaped into a bird but is now a hard lump on the table. Or, it feels like a parcel I’ve set down at the side of the path, to pick up again on my way back through. Too heavy to carry for now, with my hands busy juggling everything else.

I almost feel muzzled, that’s how removed I feel from the words I need. Miller’s words lifted some of the weight, though, and made me think that maybe if I can quiet some of the noise (and stop mixing my metaphors), something clear and pure and true will speak to me.

For now, maybe it’s just a case of the February blahs – I hear they’re going around. A bright spot:  Looking forward to hearing Alice Sebold on Saturday night with Christine.

May her creative fairy dust land on us.


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

flutter February 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I am SO excited


slouching mom February 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm

You’re seeing Alice Sebold with Christine? You’re seeing ALICE SEBOLD with Christine? You’re seeing Alice Sebold with CHRISTINE?

OK. Am insanely jealous now.


Jennifer Harvey February 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Slouchy, if there weren’t all those pesky states in between us, you would be coming, too, you know.


jenrantsraves February 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

You are going to a writer’s conference!? So cool! You will love it! I went to one when my son was about 9 months old, and loved it. I hope to go again sometime. Have you heard of the band “The Clarks”? The lead singer, Scott Blasey wrote a song “Born Too Late”. It is basically about his desire to be “genius” at something. I’ve always loved the song.


Jennifer Harvey February 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Jen – we’re just going to an evening reading, but I’ve attended that conference once before (Elizabeth Searle was my instructor) and one other conference, in Maine. I’d love to do another one, but can’t right now. 🙁 Will check out that song, thanks!


Suzanne February 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

The ball of creativity is going to explode into a full blown bout of productivity one of these days, soon, soon, soon.


anymommy February 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I bet it just needs a little sun and rain and it will burst into bloom again. How’s that for a tired metaphor?! Try to enjoy the rest of life, the words will come back.


the mama bird diaries February 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

February sucks my will to live.

So are the blinds still not the right size?


Jennifer Harvey February 16, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Suzanne – From your mouth to the muse’s ears…

Anymommy – I have a feeling you’re right.

Mama Bird – No, no they are not. 🙂


San Diego Momma February 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

So my commenting creativity, which was negligible in the first place, has failed me and all I can say now is “AMEN!”


JCK February 17, 2009 at 12:51 am

OH, I can’t wait to hear about Alice Sebold. Especially with Christine. I’m also lining up on the jealousy train…

And that quote from Henry Miller? Was EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. Thank you, Jennifer.

Your muse is just resting. She’s just off your shoulder, ready to perch at any moment.


Mrs. Chili February 17, 2009 at 6:19 am

Honey, just keep breathing – and writing. I sympathize with your frustration and your blahs and all of it, but hasten to remind you that this, too, shall pass. It may not pass quickly enough for our collective liking, but still…


Madge February 17, 2009 at 7:33 am

i feel so stuck. can’t move. can’t do anything good or creative or useful.


Jenn @ Juggling Life February 17, 2009 at 8:37 am

What an amazing opportunity. It will be great.


Daryl February 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

Packing, unpacking .. neither inspires me … and you did decorate, here, the blog


jessica February 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

when I am stressed it is my anger that reigns over me and nothing, nothing good comes from that. It is only when I can sit, quietly, take a deep breath and listen to my heart, remember why it is that I do what I do and just let go that I find myself able to write again.


Lisa Milton February 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm

A rest, a break, a long, long drive?

I wish I had the answer, but like most writers, we all go through dry spells.

{I imagine a night with Christine, at a reading, does a world of good.}


Louise February 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I hope Saturday night was wonderful! How did you get a babysitter on Valentine’s??

Decorate something… anything. It will help. Make one small little corner of something beautiful that you love. It will not be that difficult to pack it up.


Indigo February 19, 2009 at 11:28 am

I have a few neighbors I wouldn’t mind seeing gone…It’s almost too funny (in a strange way) I went the same route with the blinds. Then one day I happened to look up at the house while I was out with Pickles and realized the blinds worked at night so we couldn’t see out, but with a light on you could still see in. I was not a happy camper. This year I’ve brought wood blinds for the windows. Works like a charm, dark enough to keep the light in and the night out.

I loved the Miller quote. It’s so profound. I often find myself wondering if I have anything left in me for the page in front of me. I keep telling myself the chapters of my life are not done being written. (Hugs)indigo


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