What I find delicious about life as a writer are the revelations that most surprise me. And they start before I open my eyes.
The feeling of the pillows, the sheets; of my own warmth caught beneath the covers and returned to me. The weight of a cat against my legs. The fact that, without an externally-imposed schedule or the alarm clock that enforces it, I am free to doze and imagine. I am at my own pleasure to discover the sensations that greet my waking; to write them in my head.
The road, walked or run. The chemistries of air and light. The testing of muscle. On those mornings (that disguise themselves as burdens, sometimes), I gather the day to myself. And the hot shower after a time outside that draws the chill from deep in the bones…now the day is mine.
Silence where, in city life, sound used to be. The sound of the fridge in the kitchen, the clock in the hall, the roar of my ancient heating system, the small thunder of cat feet chasing through the house. The click of the laptop keys as I write the morning’s post. Mine.
Now, the charted course of the day. A setting before me of character and plot, like courses in a feast. Some days, the prospect is like scraping my head with a microplane. Most days, it is appetite and purpose and love.
The chance to be someone else from the inside. To map a path through a created landscape. To lose the day in myself and myself in the day. To take a doctor’s nap vacation that gives my mental focus back to me. To see the changes of cloud and light through the window at my left hand—and sometimes, not to see those changes at all. To discover that it is four o’clock before I knew that it was noon. To have before me the prospect of dinner to cook, a meditation all its own.
These are my days.
There are downsides, too. Plot problems that lay sticky and stubborn in my path. Memories of a past injustice that still rankle me. The job I don’t have. The doubts that nap in the corners of my head, waiting for the right time to come poke me with sticks. And pretty much everything about the “real” world, an entity I mostly prefer to deny and ignore. But no downsides. Not today.
There is a house to be cleaned for the visit of a beloved friend. An errand to run (and the change of view that it brings with it.) Words to be written in a book that, for the past week, has been a playground and a joy.
Solitary, yes. One breathes solo, as we all do. But there is wonder in air. When we trust ourselves enough to look for it.