I woke up this morning at 8am to write. I did some actual prep work before I got out of bed, and then I set about doing everything in my day that wasn’t writing. What I seem to deny in many of my actions is that I am no longer a person of leisure who can do things at her own pace. Rather, I must do things to earn money and learn to do them first in the face of slower and more fiddly things that do not advance my income.
Thus, I write. But first, let me stop for over an hour to execute an inspection of my backyard beehive. I really need to know how they are doing, and to see if the swarm I captured from my next door neighbor’s yard is actually my bees absconding for lack of space.
It turns out that it isn’t. As I am sitting under my tree waiting for the bees to go back to their hive I notice the blue of the sky contrasted against the white clouds which are so rare in southern California. Sometimes that blue is so startling I can’t even call it a color. The intensity of it sneaks past the usual destination of colors in my brain, which is a place of relative order. It leaves me wondering at the generousity of the free universe. The bees are buzzing around me, reminding me of the music of the spheres.
I come back in and try to settle down, but my dog got a batch of bratwursts that upset her, and she has thrown up. Obviously that is an immediate need, and the writing gets shoved back again.
When I finally stop. sit down and stare at the screen I am besieged by all the ways to write badly. There are so many. What divides me from writing simple and well, as I so deeply want to?
Ego. It must be. I want to write with the genius and passion and invention that will show my greatness. A smaller hope could not be recorded. It closes me off from the huge and insignificant pulse of life. For me at least, the desire to be distinguished seals with certainty my inability to achieve it.
I must start again. My aims must be humble. I am not the person who works in huge and dramatic materials, but the person who assembles broken shards, who combs the wreckage, who treasures little bits and puts them together into something like the Watts Towers that people marvel at, and feel on par with.
I must be one of many in order to create.