There is no creature on earth more pestilential, more irritable, and more tenacious than a gnat. And regrettably they travel in swarms.
The reason I bring this up is not coincidental. Around the cabin, spring was replaced by a monsoon season leaving all the fields perpetually saturated with water with new rains coming almost daily. The resulting effect is about two inches of standing water almost anywhere you walk. This apparently makes our fields the red light district for the gnat kingdom. And all that frolicking apparently makes them hungry. I’m also starting to wonder if my yellow fever vaccine is still up-to-date.
These conditions have made getting a tractor in the field all but impossible leaving the only option of work that can be done is work that has to be done by hand and on foot. These are generally the tasks that are put off for a reason. And the reason is that they’re hot and dirty. In corporate terms, these are the jobs reserved for interns. Unfortunately, this is not a corporation and I have no interns available. And so, I loaded up all my fence gear and headed to the first section of broken down, waterlogged section of fence I could find. Mix the heat with the humidity and the utter lack of any kind of breeze and you’re setting up a day of nothing of nothing but mud and misery shrouded in a cloud of gnats.
Which is why I’m sporting a swollen lip from the gnat bite received while fixing fences. A big, fat, swollen bottom lip. Kylie Jenner has nothing on me. Those gnat bastards.
I’m not really sure that there’s a point to telling you all this, except that mucking around in my self-appointed misery yesterday really got the creative juices flowing. The more irritable I became the more I wanted to throw down my pliers and pick up a notepad. Swearing and thrashing around like an idiot at what can only be described as tiny winged piranhas, while trying not to bash your own skull in by accidentally smacking yourself with a pair of heavy duty fencing pliers, can only be described as fodder for the creative mind.
Which got me thinking why most of my favorite authors did some of their best work while half-drunk and bitter.
It’s a well established observation that self-loathing and irritable people are some of the most prolific writers. Perhaps it’s a holdover from teen angst or all those times they got picked last to be on the kickball team at recess. Whatever it is, there is a rage within that can only be adequately expressed through the written word and restraint is loosened by the devil’s drink. A bone to pick. A wrong to be righted. Righteous indignation. Whatever it is, it most likely will not be written by a man who is content.
Even now, while sitting at a desk in an air conditioned office my mood has improved considerably and I feel the creative voices slowly oozing away and words becoming more and more difficult to find. Excuse me, I’m going to go hit my shin with a hammer and perhaps things will improve.
In the meantime…live well… laugh often… rage on.