In a life given to writing, grey days happen.

This morning’s walk. On the outward leg, a chilly wind that poked my face and tested my windproof jacket. One lone bloom of Queen Anne’s Lace; three yellow roses at the neighbor’s mailbox, the color of hope raised against the hopeless fate of coming winter. The mini parade of neighbors walking in the opposite direction, the man whose reliable pleasantries are shared in single sentences at a time; the woman whose morning exercise is always accompanied by the cigarette in her hand. The sound of the sawmill over the hill, annoying in the quiet. Relentless grey, above, below, around.

Eyes down, I walk in the blank room of me, at the contemplative pace that invites thoughts to come. Few do. The chapter I thought I’d nearly finished had a hole in the end, from which plot-logic leaked out; a question that could not be answered.

The chapter will need to be moved. A new scaffolding will have to support it. A task bigger than I was ready for at this stage.

Do we match the story to our mood…or the mood to our story? Do we paint our mental rooms grey, or do they paint us? I’ve done both. Putting a mood to paper is instructive; it can richen the tale, deepen it. Or smudge it. I donned an emotion, once—called up a sadness as a Method actor does—to write a difficult passage in The Spiritkeeper. Writing around an emotion, writing despite it, is tougher.

In the blank room of me, facing the day of writing ahead, one copes, one does not glow. In a heart that is looking for runaway love to visit the soul, like must do for now. Sometimes, when the mind-day is grey, when the creative walls are empty and the joy is absent, dogged determination is all there is.

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