There is a magic that happens when I have enough time to be still. A fog lifts – the fog of checklists and running and oh-I-forgot-to-go-to-the-grocery-store and late buses and workplace frustrations – and I become more myself. I always have ideas and phrases running through my head, but give me a few days off and suddenly they make sense, they want to be written, and the energy is there to write them.
That is all tinged with the frustration of knowing that these chances only come 3 or 4 times a year. Weekends don’t do it. It only happens after a period of decompression that is usually, cruelly, about two days long. It often coincides with the third day I’ve had a chance to take a nap. Plus, weekends are usually about jamming in all the daily duties that I feel I’m failing during the week.
Am I romanticizing the writing life? Definitely. I’ve had time to write before only to find myself mired in the monotony of having nowhere where I’m expected. And, yet, the story of the ideal writing life is strong with me. This time, I tell myself, it will be different. This time I’d really make a go of the writing life because I finally feel like a Real Writer, a writer with a book (almost, so exquisitely almost!) out, plus a stable full of ideas that are clamoring to be written. The writing life finally meets a direction.
So the good news is, yes, I’m writing. Writing after the kitchen clean-up, while the Easy Off settles in the oven. Writing in that long while when the turkey is in the oven but nothing else needs to be done for hours. Writing now, in the long, slow silence, the exhale of the kids having gone off with their father, the party done, the dishes put away. Silence and time always mean writing, that joyful embrace, that idea that caresses, more constant than any lover. But, oh, silence and time, why do you visit me so seldom? I am most myself when you are here.