There are two regular parts of the day that I can write. In the morning after the kids go to school, and late at night when everyone is quiet, doing homework, or in bed. It’s tricky because at both times I really should be doing more responsible things like grading papers or getting ready to teach. And I DO do those things. But at the same time, this overwhelming urge to write creative things, naughty things, silly and philosophical things takes over and I can’t be responsible anymore! No more! No more!
But I have to be…. So my compromise is that I time myself. Right now I’m letting myself spooge all over the page for ten minutes.
I have two favorite places to sit. In the kitchen at the table or on the ground next to the heater in the living room. I like the kitchen because it’s expansive and I don’t have to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor isn’t SO bad. I sit on pillows and prop the laptop up on a small settee. But it’s kind of cramped down there. So in a way I prefer the open space of the kitchen.
I love the quiet. Just my thoughts tiptoeing around in my brain and my fingers relaying them into words on the screen and then…quiet. Finally, peace. No more interruptions, pleadings, beggings, grievances, disputes to settle, last minute trips to the store, whining cats or dogs, nada. Just me and my thoughts.
I remember things. Like living near Aztec, New Mexico and discovering Natalie Goldberg for the first time and eating New Mexican food that was so hot that it felt like flaming turds were flying outta me in the middle of the night. When I was a kid (I know: I’m always rattling on about ‘being a kid’), I used to do this all the time. I liked to recount things. My day, my week, the year. I was always sifting through, remembering, organizing memories. Now my life is so busy that there barely are moments when I can finally catch my breath and make some kind of meaning out of it all. It’s just “run run run til your daddy takes your t-bird away.’
It’s the quiet. The breathing. Just realizing that time can move very slowly or very fast depending on how awake and aware you are. Sometimes I look at the clock at 6:30pm and think, ‘What the hell are we going to do all evening?’ And then next thing I know it’s 9:42pm and I’m barely squeezing by anticipating another late night where I vow to go to bed by 11pm but end up still puttering around by 12:30am. What have I been doing all this time? God knows.
When you realize that the world is your oyster and it’s up to you whether you sautee it with garlic, white wine, and butter, or eat it raw with a little homemade cocktail sauce, then your mind moves at a different pace. Time is irrelevant. You don’t check your watch very much at all. But it’s when you feel oppressed by the endless To-Do list imposed by yourself ON yourself and which you’ve convinced yourself was foisted on you by outside forces that you begin to feel sucked in by the quicksand of Time.
I’m running out of time. Nope, I’m OUT of time. I have to stop and go be responsible now. Shit.