Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Lake House

I'm not quite sure who exactly still reads this blog, which probably makes it the safest thing on the planet to write in. I sit here looking at my dashboard with Blogger, and I realize that since I haven't been here since January it's probably a great place to play with writing, experiment, write with the truest voice I can without trying to impress, and then take that practice and write "better" with the blogs that may be more promoted.

Since I have been writing in other blogs for some time now, I don't feel guilty for neglecting this one. This one is like what relatives of mine used to own in lake houses--those summer places that you button up in the fall with boards and dropcloths and other protective measures and that you open up, usually just before or on the first big three-day holiday weekend of the spring, like Memorial Day. I wander into this one now, take the boards off the windows, shake out and fold up the dropcloths, and head, as E.B. White would write, "once more to the lake."

It's been a strange day, which it normally is when I am hormonal. I tend to have strange sleeping schedules, I tend to eat the strangest things, I'm wired for sound but too exhausted to execute, and I tend to panic easily. All I had planned for today were two things: read 100 pages of David Mitchell's "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet," and visit Hayes Valley to taste ice cream. I never got to Hayes Valley, and I kept falling asleep during the novel. The sun wouldn't stay out, the Giants were offering up Jonathan Sanchez, and my downstairs neighbors were noisy. There were a million excuses not to do what I planned. At 3:30 I finally gave up, broke out all of the tools I should have for the reading, forgave myself for not getting down to Hayes Valley, and made my reading goal with the help of coffee and reading glasses. I turned on the fan in the living room for white noise. There's still time for Hayes Valley, another day.

When I finished the reading goal, I wandered the apartment, restless. What to do now? Pick up the pen and try to write something? The journal didn't yield much--about five ruled lines. I wandered, paced, again. I reached for a well-read, well-worn copy of a book that was written by a teacher of mine, even though we have only met once: "Long Quiet Highway" by Natalie Goldberg. Everything spinning in me settled in a series of ever-slowing circles until I was still. I could think. I had to find it in another voice, but find it I did. The sunset filled the lake house windows and I put on a jacket and went to find food to prepare for dinner. Pasta, sauce, and wine later, I am still calm, the lake house ready for me to spend a summer here, and write anything I damn well want to, without fear of repercussion or judgment.

And now, for a swim. Write on, dear writer.

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