It is frustrating, sometimes, to discover just how difficult writing can be.
On some days, it comes naturally to me, words and sentences flowing easily from my mind, and I’ve finished whatever project I’m working on before I know it. Other days, like today, you’ll find me pacing aimlessly around the house, muttering to myself. I’ll stop, stare at some aspect of the house, or look out the window for a long moment, and then I’m back at it. Pace. Mutter. Pace. Mutter. “What are you doing?” Grammy asked me. “Writing,” was the short reply. I was. Kind of. Anne Lamott once said something about never starting a writing project on a Monday in December. Perhaps the same is true about Tuesdays in January?
There’s something about the week or two after the holidays… When we’re all stuffed full of good food and comfortable. It’s pretty hard to kick my brain back into gear after a good month or more of hanging out with family and friends who I haven’t seen in over a year. And while the first moth of re-entry was full on and extremely exhausting (though incredibly fun, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat), 2014 has been nothing if not relaxing. We’re still in Ontario, staying with my grandparents on their big piece of property on Wolfe Island. There’s been sledding on the big hill behind their house, and skating on the canal.
In the afternoons the entire house smells of whatever Grammy happens to be baking that day (desserts are her speciality). In the evenings Dad reads to us around the wood stove, or Gramps tells stories of bygone adventures across Central American borders and through Tunisian marketplaces. We’ve heard many of them before, but they never get old. It’s especially fascinating to hear him talk about his adventures (and misadventures) in some of the places we’ve visited ourselves. Perhaps I’ll record him telling a few of his stories to show you. Interested? Let me know!
It’s been a bit cold, but I think that’s been true for everyone lately. And it’s beautiful outside, even if the icy temperatures keep us near the wood stove rather than out exploring. I’ve missed winter more than I thought I did. One of the advantages of the freezing weather is that it drives dozens of bluejays and sparrows to the bird-feeder on the porch. We saw a cardinal and his plain little lady the other day, and this morning a lovely hawk sat under a bush just outside the window for a few hours, huddled away from the wind. The snow has piled up in huge drifts, turning fields to oceans of tiny crystals. The ice storm a week or so ago left the trees looking like sparkling chandeliers scattered around the house. I think I had forgotten just how beautiful winter is. The cold is worth it, in my opinion.
And perhaps, while the cold keeps us inside and I have fewer distractions, I’ll be able to find a cure to my writer’s block. I’ve been told that tea, taking a long break from all forms of writing, reading, and actually making yourself write anyway are all decent cures. I’m open to any suggestions. I’m growing a bit desperate! But until I find a cure to this peculiar and frustrating affliction, I suppose I’ll go back to pacing, searching for inspiration, and muttering to myself for hours on end. Pace. Mutter. Pace. Mutter. I couldn’t think of a better place to do it than here!
Happy New Year everyone!