From my window, I am watching the neighbor’s dog survey her kingdom. She is sitting atop a wrought-iron table, under a green canvas umbrella, watching birds and squirrels and, perhaps, a few invisible things of her own imagining. She is the picture of utter contentment.
I should get up and do something, should walk or sew or play a game or make sun prints. I should water the plants and change the sheets. I should do something, anything. Certainly I should get organized for tomorrow’s first Sunday school class, as I am entirely, thoroughly unprepared for it. Also I should figure out what the hell to do with the patty pan squash from this week’s farm share bag (or, as Bernard likes to call it, next week’s compost addition). When all else fails, cooking usually works.
But what I have promised myself is that I will sit down and write, at least for 20 minutes, despite having run completely out of words, at least for the time being. I have puttered here and there for several weeks now, poking at various essay drafts, none of which will cooperate and come together the way I’d like. I’ve been writing, in fits and starts, about the comfort of routines and about how, over time, the death of one’s parents becomes more liberation than loss. But it’s all sort of muddy and mushy and very much not ready for sharing, and that’s that. The more I push, the less it complies, making me want to avoid the whole thing.
The neighbor’s dog is now stretched out fully across her table, soaking up the warm sun. She is oblivious to her audience, me, perched by forced march at my own table in my library, the table I set for writing and sewing and drawing and editing photographs. The table to which, someday, the words will come back.