Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And Then Came The Cheese Sandwich.

Almost a year ago a dear fiend, brother and fellow scribbler found his own inner ink running dry. Like any caring companion I endeavored to lift his spirits and pass on some wisdom shared to me by other writers. The advice was simple, enough so, that you might question it's value. When in doubt, write. If your suffering from writer's block, the solution can be just that simple.

My own twist to this was to add a bit of contextual humor. I simply suggested that one could write about quite literally anything, even a cheese sandwich.  A proposal that has become a stick with which we now poke each other with in times of self doubt and when we need some friendly motivation. It is in that spirit that I have once again received the tossed gauntlet of the cheese sandwich.

Now, in my youth I cannot recall the precise moment I first came across something as simple as a cheese sandwich but I can tell you the most connected thing that it is tied to in my mind. My Father's mother, whom we all affectionately referred to as 'Nanny.' Every mental image of two white pieces of bread encasing a single piece or two of plain American cheese slices cannot form in my mind without it being in her kitchen or with me seeing her.

I cannot say for certain that it was there I first started eating them, but I can say that it was something that used to mystify her. No matter how many times I ate one or asked for one it would boggle her mind and send her reeling with confusion.  "You don't want it grilled," she'd ask. "Nothing else, just cheese," she'd mutter.

Just cheese, I would always have to confirm. Nothing special, nothing complicated. It was just about as simple and un-assuming a meal as you can ever conceive. But it was something I loved, and still do to this day. I can't even begin to count the number of times in college or working my days consisted of the same such meals every day at lunch and dinner. Call me a creature of habit but something so simple never ever bored me. There was some comfort in it's simplicity and the fact I could rely on basic routine.

Could I have eaten something a bit more varied, sure. Perhaps even eaten out some. But economics and time restraints aside I came to enjoy the simplicity. As a writer we often overlook such things as well, just like someone asking themselves what they are going to eat for lunch. We can wrestle with trying to think of what to write or how we seem unable to write, when in truth it can be very simple. All you really have to do is just tell yourself; I'll just have a cheese sandwich.

Have the urge to write; then write. Period. It can be anything.
Hungry? Then eat. Sleepy? Then Sleep. Things may seem overly complicated sometimes when they may be just as simple as the proverbial cheese sandwich.