Writing Through a Crisis of Happiness

The following was originally published in the WCDR Wordweaver in the spring of 2014.
WRITING THROUGH A CRISIS OF HAPPINESS
It’s been ages since I’ve had a daily writing regime. I was fanatical about my sacred hour of writing before the rooster crowed. Then life changed. Drastically. I came down with a debilitating Crisis of Happiness™.
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A Lazy Trip through the Canals of Suzhou, the Venice of the East.

          I write from darkness. I’m a writer because of my misery-laden psyche. From darkness comes creativity. Remove darkness, and the urgency to write evaporates. Happiness equals a dry well.
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An Evening Stroll in Wuxi Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China.

          While on my recent vacation to China and Hong Kong, I planned to re-institute my early-morning writing hour. I thought it’d be easier to get back into my regime while vacationing. But Beijing was breathtakingly beautiful. This made for great writing fodder, but also ramped up my Crisis of Happiness™.
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A Day of Shopping in Shanghai.

          We travelled almost every day. We went from Beijing to Shanghai to Suzhou to Hangzhou to Wuxi to Shanghai to Hong Kong. Most mornings I awoke in a different hotel room than the morning before. With 14 days to re-establish my habit, I persevered.
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Boating in Hangzhou Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China

          Writing is a discipline. We must take it seriously in order for it to have importance in our lives. I had been using it as a crutch to prop up the rest of my life. One early morning in Shanghai, I considered a change of perspective. Write from a place of joy. Such an easy concept. If I could write from a wounded psyche, I could also write from joy. I embraced the pre-dawn vista of Shanghai spread out before me like a frenetic wonderland and I picked up my pen. I wrote. I was back.
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Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (Selfie-Capital of the World!)

          I can’t, however, write about the place I’m in. Amid the unsurpassed beauty of Suzhou—Venice of the East—I wrote about how, atop the Eiffel Tower, the blinding Paris sunsets distort the views of the beautiful city below. Having spent the previous day boating through Suzhou’s beautiful canals, I happily wrote about
Paris sunsets.
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A Tipsy Night in the streets of Hong Kong.

          This morning, I awoke with a vivid memory of a tipsy evening in a restaurant atop the peak overlooking Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. I wrote about being down in the harbour earlier that day, and how water lapped at the hulls of the ancient heritage boats precisely the same way it lapped at new boats. The ancient ones were festooned with Chinese lanterns and decorous accoutrements, but their seaworthiness seemed questionable. The powerful
new motorboats were sleek, sexy, and clearly capable of seafaring adventures.
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I see a ship in the harbour…and boats, too.

          I wrote about how perspective changes a person. I used to be one of those rickety old boats swaying in the wake of the newer models, always fearing that today is the day I sink. Oh, how I tried to write my way out of sinking. But I realized one need not be the shiny new boat to stay afloat. One need only move the pen across the page.
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Write. Bear Witness.

          Writers are witnesses not only on the days we’re miserable and tired. We must also be witnesses on the days we’re overcome with joie de vivre. We must bear witness every day.
          It’s 5:00 a.m. Can I get a witness…

I’m Not Writing in China…

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I have been far too amazed to even think about writing this week. China is far more beautiful than I ever imagined it to be.

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Today we did Suzhou, which is known as the Venice of the East. It has beautiful canals… One of which we travelled down. Absolutely breathtaking.

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Yesterday, the famous square in Beijing where a single man had a standoff with a tank.

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The Forbidden City, that went on and on and on and on…

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And on…

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And on…

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Driving through Beijing gave me the feeling that everywhere was downtown. It was like Toronto’s downtown core times 10,000.

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We made a quick stop to see the famous Bird’s Nest from the Beijing Olympics.

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And spring is happening in this beautiful country! Magnolias!

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The Summer Palace in Beijing…

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Leaving Beijing yesterday for Shanghai…

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Summer Palace

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We walked the Great Wall for a bit. This tiny hill, we had to keep stopping to catch our breath. So much harder than it looks!

I’m cultivating again. Too much beauty to write. Writers are always busy writing, even when we have no pen, no keyboard, no paper, no screen!

I LOVE this country! On to more new and exciting adventures!!!

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