The Electrician Didn’t Come

The urge to write has its own mind, body and force of will. Holding it back would be like stopping a flood with a spoon.I want to write a blog post today, but I don’t have a topic. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of topics floating around. I could just reach out my hand and grab one, but none of them are really calling my name. Yet I have the urge to write.

When I get the urge to write, it’s like needing to sneeze. No way on God’s green earth am I able to repress it. It’s got to come out. Even on those rare occasions when I’ve been without computer or paper and pen I’ve “written” essays or articles or poems or songs in my head because when that writing feeling comes upon me, I have to write. No way around it.

So I need to write, to scratch that itch, to sneeze, to breathe deeply because I suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath. That’s what it feels like.

Let’s see. I could write about my last unpleasant encounter with my oncologist, whom I generally like, but I don’t feel like getting into all that right now.

I could write about my garden, which is looking much better since I fixed the computer-timed irrigation that had somehow gotten turned completely off. Funny how regular watering improves the look of a garden in summer. But that’s not a whole post.

I could write about my struggles with myself—my pride, my skewed self-image—in terms of accepting the limitations of my illness, using my walker, taking medicines as prescribed instead of deciding I know best. (I generally take far less pain relief than the doc wants me to, for example.) But I’ve been there and written about that so many times.

I could write about some new interesting research developments in the world of cancer treatment in general and breast cancer research in particular, but I’ve come to realize that I’m a poor science writer. (Oh! Does anyone have any ideas on how to learn to do that well?)

I could most certainly write about certain political developments in my country and around the world that make my blood boil, but I’ve pretty much decided to stay away from politics in this blog. I don’t want it to become divisive.

So then: what shall I write about?

The electrician was supposed to come to fix a couple of things this morning, but it turned out the police had my part of the city blocked off. I heard the helicopters and sirens, but I don’t know what happened. Anyway, the electrician couldn’t get through. He’ll come on Tuesday.

While I was waiting, though, I was able to go out into the sun and trim back the sage that is growing over the pathway next to it. I can’t do much gardening at all these days, so it was fun even to go out with my walker and lean over and do a little bit of trimming. I enjoyed the sun and the smell of the flowers and herbs and the sounds of the bees and the birds and the feeling of the herbs on my hands and my fingers in the dirt.

My new medicine is causing some nausea (an expected and transitory side effect), so I took a piece of chicken out of the freezer to defrost. I’ll make some chicken soup and rice or something like that later on, I guess. I’d like to have a salad or gazpacho, but I’m not sure my stomach would handle it.

Here you are: over 600 words about nothing because the urge to write came upon me. Does this happen to you, too? And as long as we’re talking, is there anything you’d like me to write about the next time I get the urge and I’m light on topics?

26 Responses

  1. For not having any thoughts, you did a great job! 🙂

  2. MC says:

    Not to be maudlin, but I would love to hear about how you avoid becoming isolated – like I wonder if support groups and that sort of thing really help. To me, it is like getting sucked into a cesspool and running out of arms reaching down to pull you up. Or mabe you are just more resilient because of the tool chest of coping mechanisms you learned as a therapist? Also, is the medical system there a lot different than in the US? Your entries are very encouraging and uplifting, by the way so thanks.

    • Lisa says:

      I don’t expect that it would be the same for everyone. The support group was a life line for me. We kept each other in life. We didn’t just talk about cancer, though that was a great deal of what we talked about. We talked about our children and grandchildren and pets. We talked about our experiences with our oncologists and their nurses. We simply chatted. But that was what was so very helpful about it. It was so normal.

    • Knot Telling says:

      That’s a great question, MC. Thank you for asking it. I’ll write a post on that soon. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  3. It always amazes me how much we writers have to say when we think we’ve got bupkis…keep on keepin’ on. It’s nice to hear a different side of you – another facet of the sparkling diamond that is you.

  4. my “job” here is to give you (((((((((((((Knots)))))))))))) hugs. i read almost everything you right and this one just brought a nice smile to my face. why? cause it was just you dear one. smoochies from Texas

  5. Yes, it happens all the time. You never know what comes out when you write without direction, and it doesn’t even matter – it’s so good to write 🙂 I envy that patch of sage you have, which needs to be trimmed back. Sage is such a gorgeous spice, and I’m glad to hear you spent some time with it.

    Thank goodness for writing, eh? It’s a release value I’ve come to depend upon. ~Catherine

  6. Well, for not having a topic you did pretty darn well! Writers have to write. It’s really that simple don’t you think? I get the urge to write quite often – which is a good thing I guess if you’re a blogger! Sorry about the need for police. And I hope the electrician makes it on Tuesday.

  7. mariaratliff says:


    Don’t ya know? When you think you have no direction, have no specific topic, maybe feel that you are ramblng, unorganized & you feel you have a post about “nothing” … THAT is when your genuine self shines! Case in point, the sitcom Seinfeld…a show about nothing except day to day silly routine & hilarious antics. Yet it reached millions. “Nothing?” … Not hardly! My dear, your “nothing” is as genuine, down to earth & heartfelt as many others’ “somethings!”


  8. Maxine D says:

    I love it when you speak of yourself and your life – I begin to get the feeling that I can know a wee bit more if ‘you’ and some of your struggles – which enables me to pray a little more specifically.
    Prayers and blessings

  9. When cancer doesn’t dominate the forefront of your mind and you find yourself writing about the mundane things of LIFE and LIVING, I consider it a good thing. May you have many, many more such posts.

  10. dear kt,

    what an enjoyable read! it was lovely to get a glimpse into the “you” of your day. I love everything you write, so I am very happy that you filled the NEED to write and I got the pleasure of reading it. this day seemed a little lonely, but I was inspired by picturing you gardening so will look forward to my flowers and herbs getting a little tlc tomorrow – we’ve a horrid, torrid heat wave that is supposed to break on sunday; if it doesn’t I may just water myself!

    thinking of you with lots of love and gratitude.

    Karen, TC

    • Knot Telling says:

      Hello, Karen, and thanks. My little garden gives me so much. I can’t work in it much any more, but that just makes me treasure even more the times when I can. 🙂

  11. dglassme says:

    Yup 600 words about nothing…you make me laugh.

  1. 21 July, 2013

    […] The urge to write is the subject of the latest post on Telling Knots […]

  2. 25 July, 2013

    […] week I posted The Electrician Didn’t Come, in which I rambled on about nothing in particular for 600 words. I asked if anyone had a […]

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