The Old Fig Tree

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

The Bell Jar– Sylvia Plath


And this, ladies and gents, sums up exactly how I’d been feeling as I got lost in the woosh! of my last few A to Z Challenge entries. It’s how I’ve felt since returning home from Japan. Despite all the enthusiasm to publish a book about my adventures, I became less and less able to express what I was feeling; what I had seen and experienced in Asia. One might say I had writer’s block, but that would be inaccurate. In fact, I had too many ideas and not enough hours in each day to jot them all down. The longer it took to translate thought to paper, the more vague my memories became. Things like names, places, tastes, colors….all started to slip through my fingers. I decided to turn my book documenting lived experiences into something more akin to a fantasy novel. I wanted to show the ephemeral and the fleeting; the intangible and the fantastical. How does Japan appear to the typical tourist? How does that compare to what I saw, through dazzled, emotional and impaired eyes? I had lots of ideas. And then after writing three pages, it all came to a jarring halt. Not one more word would materialize. Yet everything I wanted to say was on the tip of my tongue. It was like my mind had quietly built itself a dam without my knowledge or approval.

I have yet to break through the dam, but wanted to update my readers about why I suddenly stopped updating my blog. Writing is my catharsis, my therapy, my pastime. It’s where my angst goes when I don’t want to put a fist through a wall. It’s where I hash out problems that seem insurmountable. Not being able to write has been very tough. It means my emotions build and build and have nowhere to release. I keep thinking that something some day will yank out that plug, causing all the stagnant water to seep through. I don’t believe that it will culminate in book form. It may not even appear as blog entries. But it may somehow unclog the mess in my head and heart enough to finally move forward.

There might be things I can do to help the process. One is a bit self destructive, so I’m sure people will start flooding me with noooooo don’t!’s. And that is … folding this blog. I would archive the posts for my personal collection, but remove them from the public eye. I initially set this blog up as a way to go through the steps of planning my trip. Have I not achieved my goal already? Why do I still need this blog? Maybe I could start using it in a slightly different way. Maybe it will mutate into a simple travel blog. Perhaps it may randomly become a poetry blog that has absolutely nothing to do with my travel experiences.

Maybe all I need is a blackout period.


Another trip to Japan 😉


(Yes, you read that right! Stay tuned!)



(Header photo borrowed from How to Clone and Grow a Fig Tree)

2 thoughts on “The Old Fig Tree

  1. Writing is super hard. It will come in waves – one moment the words will flow and others it will be like pulling teeth. It is a matter of determination. But I think no matter what you will do what feels best for you in the end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing is, this is part of my daily vernacular as well. I’ve stopped being able to tell people about my trip. The words all fight against each other and I end up saying “Well, I don’t know. What do you specifically want to hear about?” Unless my audience is able to prompt me with something very specific, I can’t seem to…start? If I knew how, I think I’d also be able to write about it.


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