“Mostly we nurture our own blessings or spoil them, build firmly or undermine our walls. Who are termites but our obsessions gnawing.”
— Marge Piercy, Nailing Up the Mezuzah
By the time you read this, I’ll have been at a writer’s workshop on Madeline Island for two days, with three more to go. I wonder what I’ll have done or be doing? Something amazing, I hope.
Okay, it doesn’t have to be AMAZING. I’m just so happy to be getting away from my job and other daily distractions to spend five days focused on story. As much as I’m trying to go without expectations, to simply plan on living every precious getaway moment to the fullest, I do hope that I can pick up a writing rhythm — a samba or a tango. Wouldn’t it be great if every writing session could be a Maery-Gras?!
Of course, I’m disappointed with myself that I haven’t written more in preparation for the workshop. I planned on already having a daily writing practice down pat. To perhaps have a full rough draft completed. Alas, life and exhaustion conspired against my intentions. I know, when don’t they? I want to get beyond that and write anyway.
And so I hope and commit and recommit.
I glanced at the first page of my current journal the other day and read these words: “New notebook. New resolve. Back to writing, yoga, and meditation practice — daily.”
Ha, ha, ha.
I’ve found that now that I’m older, starting over has its special difficulties. Dropped down at the foot of a mountain, I raise my head slowly, tracking from the base of it to the peak. In my younger years, I would have simply started climbing. But now, coping with the physical and mental difficulties that come with age, scaling a mountain looks darn near impossible. The more I look at the climb, the more depressed I get.
I’m thinking that instead of big promises of starting over, the whole reinvention thing, people just need to live. It’s not starting over. It’s not tearing down and rebuilding. It’s an addition. A new room. Maybe new counters and a fresh paint job.
And I’m not standing at the foot of a mountain. I’m somewhere in-between. I’ve already climbed quite a ways over the years. Sometimes I slip on shale and gravel, but still, I’m nowhere near the bottom. And why am I looking up to the top of some unknowable peak, when where I’m standing is such a good place to be?
It’s not what I’ve written or what I will write, because look! I’m writing right now!