This morning, I am in P’s old apartment, his parents still sleeping in their house next door. I managed to forget my pajamas, my clothes for today, and most importantly, my book. Last night, I fell asleep by reading a copy of Blue Ridge Life from 2009.
Today, I’m missing my journal and my copy of Wild Surmise by Eloise Klein Healy – the two things I use every day to loosen the words from within the folds of my mind.
This, I think, is the writing life for so many now in the 21st century. This traveling sometimes, this forgetting, this need to pack up all our books because, well, who knows what we might need to reach to.
This a deep contrast to that – that vision of a gable room, Madeline L’Engle’s studio overlooking her farm yard – the vision that led me to the dream of God’s Whisper Farm, the place I already ache to breathe in although I’ve only been gone 18 hours. Even though I love it here, too, and love the people that exhale in this place.
I am not a writer who goes lightly with only a notebook and a pen. I need at least 3 books nearby – two to read in chunks like heavy bread and one to sip like wine that is almost too sweet. I need pens – 4 Uniball Vision Elites – and the scraps of paper where I make lists and jot notes. I have not yet – will not? – adapted to the computer and its calendars and note-taking functions.
I do long to linger in Moroccan cafes and on beaches that abut fjords. To pick up with but a flickering thought and plan to care for the chickens and head to Peru for coffee.
I am fairly spontaneous. I just forget things.
I am finding balance – the way to hold my desire for isolation – solitude is the prettier word – while also taking the embraces of the people who fill my days with color. The teetering of a stationary life with the one that needs to promote and visit and travel. I’m finding it . . . maybe.
P and I joke about packing my “bug-out” bag. It will be too heavy for me to flee because it will be full of books and paper. But then, maybe that’s my answer. . . a bag just always ready to go – packed with a book of poetry and a journal, two books to read, and a packet of Uni-ball pens. To carry my gable room with me.
What about you? Do you long to settle in or take off? How do you manage that longing with your writing?