Oct 15, 2009
As I left my loft downtown, bouncing my bike down from the loading dock and donning my slicker, while coughing heartily into my hand, I encountered my neighbor.
Wow even in the rain, this cold, the bike . . . really ?
Oh well if you give your self a day off, or an excuse you are done for. . .
With that I pedaled off coughing and wheeling into the pelting downpour. I was wearing no hat and had grabbed only thin sweat pants to wear. I was on my way 3 miles north to a Pilates class, having forsaken my warm home and the promise I’d made to write something today that didn’t involve work. Meaning neither a journalistic piece on quilts nor a grant to support housing for homeless women. All important, but diversions from my creative writing.
As I peddled off I was rattling around in my head, Never give yourself an excuse or an easy way out. You have to brave the rain, cold to stay strong. Go on out into the rain on your bike. I seemed truly crazy. And has I felt my fever heat and cool me simultaneously and my cough kept me hacking I had a simple epiphany as I crossed Canal Street. I am nearly sixty years old, when can I give myself a day off ? Or when can I take a respite just because I feel like it. WHEN?
And just like that I circled back and rode home. I turned my metal mule around and bumped back up the slippery loading dock and came home into the warmth. Ate a crisp apple and read.
Rather than feeling defeated I felt as if I made a grown up decision. Pilates is wonderful but this cold and sore throat will not get better by beating myself up. I have a few hours without meetings and I am a writer who says she never has time to write.
Please do not think this is what I am passing off as my writng time, no this is the prelude, the foreplay to re- announce my intention to myself. As Lizzie Simon said in her wonderful SHEWRITES.COM webinar yesterday, “Practice being a writer by writing every day for 30 minutes. Be in the void” Hell I spend a half hour wondering if the cats are actually smiling at me. Another thirty minutes pondering banana bread or a trash toss; so I think can invest that time in me and my desire to amass words into a form that might become a book.
I also went to a poetry reading this week given in a local gallery by the seductive and talented Max Blagg who said, “ I write1000 words every day, not all good words, not all keepable words, but words to get the juices flowing and refer back to perhaps when the real writng starts. Like keeping the machine in order.” His words and rhythm are magical and if they come from a rigor of daily writing then maybe I can join in.
At any rate I am home having turned back from rain and cold and wheezing and embracing, for a little while, the warmth of my home and the comfort of words.