What Keeps You From Writing?

“The passing spring, birds mourn, fishes weep with tearful eyes.”

Matsuo Basho

I never get writer’s block, and there isn’t much that keeps me from writing. As a matter of fact, my husband happily catches up on television shows because I’m often choosing, instead, to crank some music and pound away on the keyboard.

There is one thing that sets my mind and emotions spinning out of orbit, and consequently, (and temporarily), silences the keyboard — existential sadness. That all-encompassing sadness that comes from the overwhelming helplessness of knowing too much of the world’s horrors. With babies being thrown in dumpsters, children kidnapped and murdered, animals starved, abused and tortured, and war raging everywhere, at times it can be hard to look upon the world with wide-open, hopeful eyes.

If only there was a button that disabled all the horror in the world. If only they sold a remote for that.

Lately, for me, the great sadness has been the plight of the wild mustangs. America’s wild horses. I fall apart inside at the thought of any human or animal being hurt or forgotten. I believe all life is sacred. All life — not just life at the top of the food chain.

Read more here:  Saving The Wild Mustang Herds.

If you know horses, then you know that horses know. They feel, think, ask and apologize, plot, play, exhibit a sense of humor, and depend upon our compassionate behavior for their very lives, and their quality of life.

Pets are family, not food, especially in America. Americans don’t eat their pets. (You don’t see American restaurants pulling “dog” off the menu because the Olympics are going to be held here.)

Death isn’t the only horror to befall a horse. The anguish, fear and confusion a wild horse experiences upon round-up is extremely upsetting to think about, and so is that same horse later experiencing the slaughter process. It saddens me that, understandably, it’s easier to look away from the darker side of life and from the horrible things that are done to our animals and children. It’s easier not to know than to feel the swirl of pitch-black emotion that knowing brings.

It’s why I’m grateful for all the “knowing ones” out there, who carry the burden of bearing witness. They willingly carry the weight of the darkness in an effort to bring about change. They walk away from the happy and easy, to help alleviate suffering in the world.

Marvin Gaye was singing on the radio last night, through the monsoon rains that finally let loose. “Mercy, mercy me, things aren’t what they used to be …” and I nodded as I tramped through puddles with a tower of hay in my arms, with hungry rescue horses stealing bites and following me to the shelters where we’d all be dry. No, things aren’t how they should be, not yet, and not to the credit of a human being’s capacity for reason, empathy and compassion. Maybe one day things will be different, as minds and hearts continue to evolve.

I hope the wild horses are still alive and running free, then. I hope all the babies fished from dumpsters can be brushed off and soothed.

I’ve also been saddened by the story of the United States Marine in Hawaii who threw a puppy over a cliff to its death. The story resurfaced recently, as news of disciplinary action against the Marine was disclosed. The very helplessness of any puppy makes the story all the more heinous.

To honor its life, I think the puppy deserves a name — like “Brio”, which means vigor, vivacity; mettle, fire, life.


Brio was here.


9 Responses

  1. This is a wonderful blog write, Em. I get a real sense, explained, of your heart.

  2. Thanks, Harlan!
    Made me smile big to see you here. : ) My number one fan. : )


  3. Oh man, what a depressing post! 😦

    It’s just that I hear you, so very much, about the existential sadness, especially the plight of animals. I’m a vegetarian for good reason! If I was rich, I’d rebuild the crappy animal shelters they have around here. I’d buy tons of land and create an animal sanctuary, just rescue all the animals I can and want.

    And what keeps me from writing? A serious lack of inner calm. I know it. I just have to address it.

  4. It is sad, isn’t it. Especially what’s done to the animals behind our backs. I’m not half as tough about the horses and other animals as some of the rescue women I know. They really amaze me.

    Just the plight of the mustangs put me into a deep funk all last week. : (

    But, as they say, knowledge is power.


  5. Yes. I’ve often wished I didn’t know what I now do. They also say ignorance is bliss. But then one lives quite inactively in ignorance!

    PS. I love Brio. One of my favourite drinks! 🙂

  6. I agree about knowing/not knowing. Using the desert as an example, ignorance is bliss, until you step on a rattle snake!

    Brio is a drink? Gotta try one. : )


  7. Another great post. I didn’t know about the wild mustangs. I’ve always loved horses. As a little girl, I used to collect plastic horses. They each had a name and they went on many lovely adventures. I always found wild horses to be particularly intriguing, as I imagined they had adventures quite similar to those of my toy horses. Great post.

  8. If you’d like to know more about the wild mustangs, click on the blue link in my post above, which will take you to a prior post where I consolidated a lot of the most important information into one place/post.

    The BLM’s proposed antics of euthanizing 30,000 plus wild mustangs (this Fall) due to over-round-up, and the allowed (legal) practice of sending our horses, including some of these mustangs, to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, (recently, finally, all three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in America were closed down/now illegal), is something I believe happens partly because not enough people know it’s happening.

    Awareness is key to saving these horses in all ways.

    I loved your comment, thank you so much! Too sweet, about the plastic horses!

    I used to have a bunch of “little animals”, as I called them, that I carried everywhere with me in a long plastic bread bag (big groans! : ). I, too, sent them on “adventures”. : )

    I guess we were writers, even then. : )


  9. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by xXxn1kk1xXx on 2009-02-11 What Keeps You From Writing? https://emilymurdoch.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/what-keeps-you-from-writing/ – bookmarked by 3 […]

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