Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sitzfleisch

by Hannah

Amy called it "chair glue." My dad called it sitzfleisch. As in, "you need to develop some sitzfleisch."

My mother is an artist and in addition to paid work and parenting and gardening, she closeted herself away weaving, then working on jewelry, learning new techniques, producing beautiful pieces. She had -- has -- sitzfleisch, which translates literally as sit-flesh, and figuratively as the ability sit for hours doing one thing when you really could be up and about doing a million others. I don't know what I was not doing at the time, but the poor man -- who himself finds spare time to make furniture and take gorgeous photographs -- got quite frustrated and told me what I needed most was, yes, sitzfleisch.

Fast forward twenty or thirty years. I did manage to accumulate sit-flesh, of both the literal and figurative varieties. The latter I discovered somewhat in college, and honed in my early professional years. I have spent decades of hours in front of my computer writing speeches, press releases, making phone calls, organizing.

What took me so long to apply the sitzfleisch to creative writing? I have written fiction and poetry since I was seven or so. I never really thought it was a career choice. Like millions of others who put away guitars, leotards, pottery wheels, baseball bats and yes, pens, when faced with the Big World, maybe I didn't give myself credit. Sure, I told myself I was good enough to pay the bills with writing, but I couldn't quite let go of the corporate safety net. I told myself the ideas that bubbled up weekends and evenings (and during long meetings) were "just for fun."

Three or so years ago, after being hounded yet again by a set of characters and plot ideas, I decided to get them all out. Really out, on paper, and most important, all of them and all of it. I found a writers' group, which helped me begin to set deadlines. I learned a great deal, the group shifted, and it got serious. So did I. I put away the drawer novel, for many good reasons, and started another story. Finished that story, am revising that story. Like my parents, I (finally!) make time, between it all, for my art, closeting myself away. I make better, conscious choices on how to spend my time, take writing seriously, work to make it part of my Big World. I proudly expand my back-end, month by month, year by year, adding layers of lovely sitzfleisch.

13 comments:

Lisa said...

What a wonderful reminder that we do make time for those things that are important to us. Every once in a while we just need to be reminded how important they are and that they do deserve our dedicated sitzfleisch.

Larramie said...

Another example of how dreams don't just happen and, yet, it's not all work either. The personal satisfaction from sitzfleisch is great.

Trish Ryan said...

I need to find the sitzfleisch store, as my stock is getting LOW!

:)

Anonymous said...

The strangest things up my sitzfleisch quotient, like fortune cookie fortunes that talk about "success around the corner." Not to mention the Chinese food!

Hannah

Therese said...

And here I was fearing I had middle-age spread!

I'm glad, Hannah, that you've recognized your talents are more than an idle hobby.

Anonymous said...

I need a dish of crabs and a chilled bottle of Sitzfleisch

Somebody Nobody Sent said...

Quincy Jones called it "ass power". He said Michael Jackson had it. Jackson's ability to sit for long hours during the sound editing process to refine what he recorded earlier distinguished his genius.

Kawak Mebel Jepara said...

Hi there,I enjoy reading through your article post, I wanted to write a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuationAll the best for all your blogging efforts.

Best Regard
Mebel Jepara
Toko Furniture Online
Furniture Jepara
Mebel Jati
Mebel Minimalis Jepara
Mebel Jati Jepara
Mebel Antik

Mebel Jepara said...

Remarkable issues here. I am very happy to look your article. Thank you a lot and I'm looking forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Produk Herbal said...

Its like you learn my mind! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you can do with a few p.c. to power the message house a little bit, however instead of that, that is fantastic blog. A great read. I'll certainly be back. Atasi Ejakulasi Dini , Atasi Lemah Syahwat , Atasi Keputihan , Penambah Gairah Wanita , Atasi Perut Buncit , Atasi Penyakit Kronis

modern outdoor furniture said...

I've learn a few good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you set to make any such magnificent informative website.
Chair & Arm Chair
Sun Lounger
Round Tables
Rec. Tables
Side Tables
Coffee Tables
Ottoman
Sofa
Sectional Sofa

mebel jepara murah said...

nice share, i like this blog please visit back our blog Mebel Jepara

ellia Mebel Jepara said...

Pusat mebel jepara menjual berbagai macam produk furniture jepara murah terlengkap dan terpercaya produk kami seperti sofa jati jepara. Tidak hanya itu kami melayani perbaikan laptop anda yang rusak lagsung saja ke servis laptop semarang siap membantu anda dan bulu perindu pengasihan dapat membantu masalah asmara anda. kami juga melayani cara daftar member sophie paris.