Thursday, March 1, 2012

Davy Jones, Field of Dreams and Writer's Block

He caught my eye right away..
Blogs are not the great American novel. They are not Shakepeare's sonnets or a manifesto for some worldwide political movement trying to gain traction but the lowly (referring exclusively to myself) blog writer can get blocked, too. Just like the writers who have agents and advances and look great in spandex, bloggers encounter the dreaded writer's block.

I have never written anything as regularly as this blog other than homework every night when I was a kid and that was written on lined paper in blue Bic ballpoint. I developed a callous, which I still have, on the top knuckle of my writing hand from the pressure of the pen and, when I look at it, I remember evenings at the formica kitchen table thinking that I would never be free as I labored over book reports or copied questions from a textbook.

When I am in a good phase of writing, in terms of flow, I can think of things to write when paying the bills, cooking a meal or even reading the credits of a movie...people's names will strike me funny, leading to a domino effect in my brain and, before I know it, I will have written a blog post or a column for the local newspaper. It feels great.

But a blockage of the creative juices feels like a small but weighty cat sitting on my chest and also makes me want to write sentences about small in, "I saw a small cat." This is neither entertaining nor true since all of my cats are as big as Volkswagens.

I was hopeful yesterday when, along with my tear ducts, I thought my block might have been cleansed and cleared by a magnificent and noisy sob fest: Seth, switching around the dial, stopped at the last hour of "Field of Dreams."
Burt Lancaster as Moonlight Graham

Many of you will agree that this movie, without question, ensures a grand cry. When Moonlight Graham, played by the luminously handsome (at any age) Burt Lancaster, eternally forfeits his chance to play baseball by stepping over the foul line to save the little girl who's choking, I go absolutely ballistic. Rolled into that phase of the cry are the ramifications of universal disappointment and sacrifice. Potent stuff.
"Is this heaven?"

Then, when Ray Kinsella -- played by Kevin Costner -- not only spots his father on the field but, asking for "a catch," calls him Dad, all hell breaks loose. Every regret and moment of redemption that has occurred since the earth was nothing more than a heaving ball of silly putty blasts through my brain and I cry until I actually start to feel dehydrated. It's glorious.

Combine this with a state of pensive sadness at the news of the death of my eight year old self's idol, Davy Jones of the Monkees, and I wondered if  an emotional overload/breakthrough/breakdown was in store.

I loved Davy Jones. Who didn't? Mickey Dolenz with his desperate slapstick and manic desire to be loved, the enigmatic but ultimately uninspiring Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith's green hat spoke to my soul not a whit. But Davy, that diminutive child/man with the sweet smile apparently activated a little girl's hormones which later delivered  her into the figurative arms of Bobby Sherman, David Soul and even Erik Estrada. Davy was my first.

I waited for that half hour of "The Monkees" all week, pasting Davy's photos to construction paper and adorning the narrow hallways of my house with glossy images of his delicate face. I was shocked yesterday to hear that the show was only on the air for two seasons. It seemed like so much more.

I am hoping the wailing that went on yesterday may have unblocked me. It certainly scared Seth which is always a good thing. "Keep your family terrified," has long been my motto and I live by it to this day.

The small cat on my chest seems to shifted a wee bit...maybe all that crying did the trick after all.

I loved this song beyond all reason when I was eight years old.


  1. My favorite was Daydream Believer and he was my first love, too. RIP Davy Jones.

  2. That movie makes me cry too. And the parts you mention are the worst. When he plays catch with his dad, I go nuts.

  3. Love Field of Dreams... almost as much as Rudy.

    You went all David Soul on us? What's next Leif Garrett?

    You SHOULD really click here : the award I gave to you and am incensed that you haven't acknowledged / accepted / etc. (no not really)

  4. He was ageless to me and so loved.

  5. I loved when he was on Brady Bunch. I wanted to be Marcia.

  6. Ahhhh, Anon#1--"Daydream Believer," what a great song! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Me, too, Carolina, me too. It's a guaranteed sobfest.

  8. Wow, Scott! Thank you so much. I don't know how I missed that but am touched by your generous words and description of my blog! Where does this Leibster award come from??? So nice of you!!

    I will do my part for it this weekend!

  9. So nicely put, Anon#2..."sgeless and so loved!" My sentiments exactly...thanks for your comment!

  10. Michelle, and I wanted to KILL Marcia!!!

  11. Daydream Believer is a song I love! So, sad to hear about Davy's death.
    And I love Field of Dreams too - and how lovely it feels to have a good cry sometimes XO

  12. Since I'm only 6 years years younger that seems waaay too young to go.

  13. Yes, puffy eyes and mottled skin agrees with you...nothing like a good cry!XO

  14. Without a doubt, Michele...way, way too young.