Friday, October 23, 2015

Time for an update...

Tonight I am suffering from major writer's block.  I've three pieces of writing going: my Free Press column, an entry in my travel journal and this blog post.  I've started each numerous times and have yet to successfully finish one.   Words generally flow easily for me and when they do not it's unbelievably frustrating. 

I've tried my usual tricks:

  1. Get up and walk away, in this case to get hot water for tea, come back.  (Fail)

  2. Go do something slightly mind numbing but enjoyable – so I watched the big cranes move shipping containers around for a half hour or so.  (Fail)

  3. Vent to a friend via iMessage, try chatting about any old thing to get my brain going. (yep…fail again)

  4. Go back to my cabin and write about how I'm struggling terribly with said writer's block. (End up with half a page)

Things are mostly good.  Two days ago we left the Mediterranean and crossed back into the Atlantic, which left me with feelings of both coming home and realizing just how far away from home I really am.  Currently we are docked in Morocco and I'm a bit overwhelmed with just how different this place is from anywhere I've ever been.  Europe was new, yes, but still filled with so many things familiar; language, food, and some similarities of culture. 

Here though are sounds, sights and tastes I've never encountered before – or at least not within the context of this place.  I have eaten couscous many times, but never served from a steaming tagine, with lamb and an array of local Moroccan vegetables piled high atop it.  I have visited outdoor markets before, but these markets are filled with the powerful scents of mint and sweet figs that remind me of warmed maple syrup.  I have certainly never sipped mint tea quite as strong or as sweet as what is served here (something I've still not 100% made up my mind about as to whether or not I like it).  And today I heard the music of the Gnawa, the deep strum of the guembri and the rhythmic clacka-clack of the krakeb.

And all this in only the past 48 hours…

Tomorrow I will take a train to Marrakech.  I'll spend the night so that I can experience the night market, something many have told me is not to be missed.  I am eager for more music, more dancing, more food and whatever new there is to encounter.  It almost seems too much…

And perhaps that is the cause of my writer's block.  There is so much new that I have encountered.  My mind simply needs time to sift through it all. 

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