Sunday. 10:30 p.m.

Is there anything more satisfying for the writer than the afternoon that disappears?

Okay, yes…there are other happinesses in a writer’s life: the character that one continues to love, long after the writing is finished…the passage that still has the power to make its author cry…the words that wake one in the middle of the night.  But the rare episodes of missing time—the lovely fugues—they are sweet, when they come.

I had one of those episodes this afternoon. It came after a prolonged period of self-doubt; of what-do-I-think-I’m-doing? and what-was-I-thinking? A perfunctory check of the time, and when next I looked up, more than two hours were gone.

Two-plus vanished hours with no distractions. No fidgets. No room around me. No changing of the day. No me, here. No here, here. Nothing but the story that lined itself up with an elegant and generous simplicity; the wandering elements suddenly, gracefully, in place.

One is breathless after this extended focus; , exhausted at the end of this prolonged act of love. All one can do is sit and stare and smile. The story lingers, like a scent on the skin. Where the time went…doesn’t much matter. Beautiful is beautiful.

I ended the day there; I put the work away from me. Didn’t force a second encounter. Left myself wanting, still breathing the story’s breath, lingering in its warmth, hoping that it will find its way back to me tomorrow, a day I cannot wait to arrive.

The creeping doubts are trying to whisper to me tonight. I am choosing to ignore them. I am trying to hold on to that fragile bubble of smoke, the gift of the day. Tomorrow, I will once again ask the day to abandon me. I’ll sit in my chair, ignore the eagles calling outside, and try my damnedest to lose myself in place.

I’ll see you on the other side.

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