Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making Space

Making Space

Hi All, time swirling faster and faster it seems. I am reading a book, slowly, as is appropriate, called In Praise of Slowness. Actually, it was my reader present from my recent reading at Pegasus Books in Berkeley (thank you to all who made it). While waiting for people to arrive, I spied this little dark book. When I read the title, a strong feeling of relief washed over me. I think it came from realizing that the very existence of this little book meant there must be many other people who feel like I do, that they are being bombarded, sensorily, and who crave slowing down and doing one thing deeply. The book made me feel like this feeling was not crazy and that slowing down might actually be allowed.

Spell check is telling me “sensorily” isn’t a word, but I can’t think of the right one. You get the idea.

In Praise of Slowness
reminded me, yet again, of how I miss the time when I was deeply engaged with writing Love in Condition Yellow. I loved it because I was allowing myself to follow thoughts and ideas along a meandering course, and not rushing myself, but trusting that I will find an interesting insight or at least a nice shady place next to a bubbling stream where I might linger a while, maybe even have a picnic. In the book I described that feeling of deep engagement with an idea as “yoga for the mind.”

The thing is that it’s hard to allow myself to follow my little baby ideas in this beginning phase when I don’t really know what I want to write about. Because really - what hubris! Whose to know where it will lead? More likely it’s just a giant waste of time. It was much easier to do when I had a book proposal with a chapter outline, and then a book deal and a deadline and an editor tapping her fingers. Without those it is easier for the demons to get in, the questioners, the Critics, and start mucking everything up. Lately I have been ducking them by not writing and doing things like cleaning out closets. I think of it as Making Space. I am hoping the practice of making space in the physical world will allow me to Make Space for a little Room of My Own, if you will, only in my head, away from the grocery and to-do lists and recipes and real estate searches that seem more acceptable endeavors to the Critics. Plus I find closets are quite nice places: dark and quiet.

I did write a draft intro column for but not surprisingly, the editor hasn’t written back (or posted it). I say, not surprisingly, because said editor has responded to roughly one out of every twenty of my emails. I could send him an email every day or two until I reach the twenty needed to get his attention, but I realize I don’t want to. I think for right now I'm just going to go slow and see what happens.