Bett Norris


Time to Move On?

I am suffering from the worst head cold I have ever had. I want to attack it with a flame thrower, something massive and terrifying so that it is destroyed or leaves the battleground at once. Seriously. I also did not get to watch my alma mater’s first football game last night, another aggravation almost  beyond endurance. That I am surviving both is small comfort, a tattered, threadbare blanket in this plane crash on Antarctica, which is exactly how I feel right now. Alone in a desolate, frozen, unforgiving, punishing landscape. Such is my existence, my only hope of survival resting in my own hands. Winds howl and swirl, and I answer, a primeval cry of simple acknowledgment. I am still here.

Of course, this imaginative metaphor is a product of being stuffed to the gills with OTC remedies, but still, the images are real, and they burn, like a small fire. Not enough warmth for my fingers and toes.

This is Labor Day weekend, the last holiday of summer, and I imagine howling winds, blowing snow, massive up surges of ice. Too much?

It has been a strange summer for me. One crisis after another, conflicts unresolved, with long-held assumptions shredded on a regular basis. It tends to send one scurrying back to the basics.

For me, the basics consist of writing, alone, wrapped in the sharp images that come to me infrequently, amazingly, trusting what I see and hear in my head. They consist of clinging to home and my partner as the only sources of safety and rest. It means shutting down everything else, boarding the windows, hunkering down. This piece of ground is the only one not shifting underneath.

The writing. A writer is a person who writes.

8 responses to “Time to Move On?

  1. lara September 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I hope your cold retreats swiftly, Bett. I’m sorry that you’ve been under the weather, clearly from more than just a cold. I hope your strong spots in the high winds hold out and you can come through this storm to calmer times.



  2. Connie Conway September 5, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hey, Bett-

    Hang in there and you’ll lose the headcold … but never, I hope, your talent for metaphor making. Hope your other writing is going forward and going well!
    – Connie


  3. Jill September 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

    End of summer head colds are hideous beasts. I’ve been unable to rest, and can’t seem to hold my focus terribly well. I feel like a child.

    I’ve been thinking about sentences and how they get inside you. How, sometimes, you can feel the expanse of them, like a large animal in the dark. I think my style is changing. Everywhere there is a lengthening. Sometimes the paragraphs just spill out of us. Sometimes they are unrelenting.

    The writing will save us. Always.

    Be well.


    • bettnorris September 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      My gosh, I must have sounded very pitiful. Honestly, besides the head cold, I am doing fine. just family stuff, which as you know can be a source for both great humor and aggravation. I really was trying to drew a line in the sand and put all that has happened this summer behind me, and to mark a deliberate attempt to concentrate on writing again.


  4. Joan Opyr September 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Writing is magic, Bett. When it’s working, when it comes to you out of the ether, it’s irresistible. The ideas are fast and furious, and the only real chore is stirring the cauldron. Sometimes, it all comes together in a moment. Other times, you’ll stir until your arms are sore.

    I’m sorry about your summer cold. I’m more sorry about all of the strife. If there is ever anything I can do to help, let me know. I can’t move heaven and earth, but I am always good for a laugh.



  5. Jackie September 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Bett, if it’s any consulation…I had tix to the game (blacked out here) and not enough money for gas for the trip…had to listen to it on the radio. Hope you feel better soon…and…ROLL TIDE ROLL!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: