Friday, July 18, 2008

Rocks, Rough Drafts and Reminders

I'll be back to reality (all too) soon, but meanwhile, I get a few more days on Maine's coast, where today I watched my game husband and two sure-footed adventurous sons hike out over a football field sized area of shoreline rocks. While they (stupidly took their lives in their hands, I mean) explored,

I sat on a smooth and surprisingly warm flat rock for a half-hour, pulled out my always-with-me mini-notebook and what else -- wrote…because how could one not? The waves crashing a hundred yards away, family members all in good moods (even – especially the teenager), the sun, the lack of to-do lists...It was a lovely moment – feeling like a writer in the middle of a week of family togetherness (the two don't always go so easily in hand). Especially sweet when you figure in that looming in the back of my mind was the fact that in a few days, when I get back home, the post-MFA future awaits -- without any fixed plans, reassuring deadlines, contracts which mention money, checks-in-the-mail, editor demands, or interviews.

So I sat on that rock, its warmth underneath me somehow reassuring, and roughed out a few new segments to go with a larger piece of work that is still evolving. I sat on that rock and I knew that whatever lies ahead, back in New Jersey, back in my needs-to-be-decluttered/purged/stripped office (and post-MFA mind), I have at least one writing project that will keep me engaged for a few months (years?). Maybe that's enough.

Later, I nipped in to one of those awful/wonderful little beach town shops and with the help of my younger son (obviously not the moody teenager), selected a few more infinity circles for my necklace (silver rings imprinted w/inspirational words): commitment, family, remember,

'Cause amidst family and other commitments, and in between everything I want to remember to write about, one must...

I'm actually not that good about doing this last thing. It often gets left off the to-do list. And I need the reminder.

As one of my former MFA faculty members once said, in advising me how to get through an extremely rough patch in my personal life, while navigating semester requirements: "Living first, writing second."


Jenny said...

What a wise faculty member.

Maine sounds so beautiful.

Lisa R. said...

Yeah, wise advice, but....then I got home from vacation to face the pile of bills, a broken appliance, a forgotten dentist appointment, long-overdue videos, letters from kids' coaches about new equipment they need (ka-ching), an overgrown yard....and you know what?
Sometimes it's so tempting to say, writing comes first, and gee, I think I need to be someplace beautiful like Maine to write!!