Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hide and Go Seek

I'm in San Diego this week (well, Carlsbad...I get liberal and start incorporating myself in that San Diego curtain pretty freely), and not writing much. The only writing I get done is my morning pages. I got in four pages of free-writing yesterday, but that's it.

But I'm okay with all of it.

What I am doing down here is a lot of living, or watching the living. I've got the pace almost down, but I don't need to--I just watch and talk to people and listen. Listening is the big thing. I had one hang-up yesterday; our neighbor is high drama and took her high drama on her cell phone down to the hot tub in the courtyard to share with the whole complex. She's the only one I've had to drown out with the iPod. Everyone else I listen to.

Either I'm at peace, or people have better articulation skills down here in Carlsbad. In SF most Muni conversations are peppered with the word "like." I know the scientific study behind that word's abuse but having that knowledge doesn't make the abuse of the word any easier to bear. When I get back the new goal is to leave the iPod off first and see if I can find pockets where, like, you know, like, they don't, like, talk like that.

Next to me at this cafe there are two women talking intelligently about education plans at the local school for the coming fall. At the table on the other side of me is a mundane conversation about what one of the party should have ordered, but, despite the subject matter, it's easy to listen to. Other things pop up to fuel my writing idea pot. On Tuesday night a woman in the complex across the lagoon tried to jump, and was carted off by the paramedics. My sis-in-love called it "Rear Window, Revisited," and asked me what I had to write about since I didn't know the circumstances or the aftermath. I grinned. "See, those are the parts I get to make up," I said with relish. Earlier in the vacation my brother gave me an idea for a modern twist on "The Old Man and the Sea, Revisited." So I could write. But I'll do that when I get back to lonely.

There are inspirational places to write as well. A suggestion made to me didn't pan out because that location has been closed for about a year, but the suggestion got me exploring downtown. I wrote a little in a french bakery, the local libraries (two of them), and the cafe here. I get words down. To paraphrase Picasso, they don't look like me now, but they will. And I'm losing my fear of deserts. Or, I should say, the fear isn't so acute.

This may be my last post until I hit the Bay Area again on Monday. Meantime, write on.


Robin Mizell said...

Funny, I've been wanting to share this post by the anonymous Intern, "Country Writer Visits the City Writer," but I couldn't think who would appreciate it until I read "Hide and Go Seek." Jo, of course.

As someone who needs to keep moving, you'd think I'd have figured this stuff out by now.

Jo Jardin said...

Robin, that was a fantastic post at the link! I have been in both places...I would have commented, but it's a toss-up on where I'd write. The country slows one down to lethargy and the city forces you to "experience" vs. write. I'm at odds. :)