Call it fortunate, call it pathetic, I have always had a habit of detaching. Not emotional detachment, really, although that’s part of it. This is mental.

When I get thinking, the world…goes away, sometimes. And when it does, I am simply not here.

It’s always been like that for me, those moments of going-away. It is not an affliction…not a fugue state….more like an unintended skill that comes in handy for a writer. Most of the time.

This practice has had unfortunate consequences, on occasion. An adolescent episode—a thoughtful hand-to-face gesture with a hot iron in the hand—comes to mind. Another, a chess game in a King’s Road antique store in London. And then there are less problematic instances. Like today.

In the lofty, impossible chapter I am trying to master, the world is not there. And, as I contemplate it, neither am I. On this morning’s walk, in the deliberate, contemplative pace of the morning, I was one place, then someplace else. One moment here; the next, further down the road. No idea how I got there. Lucky the road is a straight line, lucky there’s very little traffic.

What do I learn in this practice of skywalking? No idea. I’ll listen to the taped notes that came out of it and find out.

Why is it that writers seem craziest when they’re not; sanest when they are farthest from sane? The intensity of feeling is extraordinary. And exhausting.

Maybe my mom was right, all those years ago, when she told me that I think too much. The question is, how do you not?

 

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