Back home from a quick ‘staycation’ (because that cannot be a real word), I find myself on my old couch, staring out at a yard cluttered with old dog poo, dead grass, forgotten patio furniture, and a poor effort at yard design. There’s the bones of a treehouse out there laying at the base of a tree, never to be raised into the sky. There is clutter, waste, and neglect. My yard is a dying metaphor of my relationship with this home and this town overall. Further, it is a metaphor of my relationship with desire and passion. In other words, both have been left largely untended.
When the balance of doing things because I had to outweighed the things I did out of love, I didn’t see the long term problems. After a while, dealing with stuff became the way of life for me. I stopped writing out of passion and instead wrote out of practicality and a need to maintain publishing credits. I stopped trying to create a home and a life that worked for me only to cling to what I felt I could reasonably handle. I stopped stretching the boundaries of my love, falling back into what I believe was a safe holding pattern. In essence, I stopped moving forward.
If it sounds like this is going to be one of those motivational blogs from this point, it isn’t. I’m merely acknowledging where I am at. I don’t know what I need to do now in order to ‘get better’. I do recognize that I’m not capable of having that life I want in that space I want until I figure out a way to put that passion first. In a sense I am doing that right here and now, getting into my morning roll, writing with her in my heart, and starting the day productively.
I took my first cup of coffee black this morning, listening to Ed Sheeran while sitting at a desk in the Fairmont Princess of Scottsdale. Call it a Groupon staycation. There are all sorts of names for finding a way out of your daily routine. Funny how here I’m falling into my daily routine. My new one, at least. This morning I texted my heart that the foundation of my morning ought to involve coffee, music, and her between my arms. In lieu of that I’ll take the literary comfort of words.
Ten minutes is a solid start to the day. Of course, another evolution is that ten minutes is going to be a minimum. If I’m on a roll, I ought to keep going where possible. Call it ‘At least 10 minutes of writing a day. Every day.’
So how to spend these 10? I’ve spent about a quarter of the time so far, marked by the edges of songs. Still, I don’t have terribly much to say. Yesterday I rebooted the Idea Archive, an old structure designed for me to dump all my ideas into one well with the thought that getting them out of my head and on to paper created space for new ideas and kept my brain growing and stretching. It may not be a coincidence that when I stopped archiving, I stopped developing new ideas and lost momentum furthering old ones. Self-reflection is beautiful. Self-reflection is a bitch.
One choice I’ve been teetering on is the destruction of old work. I have a handful of stories and novel starts that represent very old ideas—some thirty years in development. It is time for those to go away. It doesn’t have to be ceremonial. I’m just going to go home and dump them in the trash…
Okay, maybe I will start a fire. Burn them in the backyard, watch the ashes float away. Call it renewal. My mom burned my first novel, supposedly by accident. This could be an opportunity to revisit that event and make it my own, the way culturally we readapt words and ideas to reflect our growth and ownership over them. I suppose you’ll see what happens tomorrow.