Evening Pages again. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get into a Morning Page habit. Certainly don’t have a leisure that Bly must have had to do his Morning Poems book, although I think it had to do with being at Bennington for a month. As I understand it, he wouldn’t get out of bed until he’d written a poem.
Not so easy to write right now. I’m feeling a little self conscious about the loud sound of these keys. DH isn’t fond of the sound. But, with Loreena McKennitt playing in the background, perhaps it isn’t the problem I imagine it to be. I wonder how quiet Mac laptop keys are… Thinking about a laptop, which I’m working on, makes me think about both of my Soapstone residencies: the snow during my first time there, first week of Jan. 2004, and the spawning salmon the second time, Nov. 2005. I miss it—the quiet, the relative freedom to write when I want to, sleep when I want, to write as long as I feel it is possible to write—and I hope someday to go back.
I remember the cold mornings, trying to get the Duchess warmed up so that the cabin would be comfortable. (I don’t miss cleaning the glass in the door to the woodstove; most times it would be near impossible to do!) Sometimes I challenged myself to see if I could get it started by what hidden embers there were left in the ashes. I even enjoyed collecting and splitting wood. All night I left the little window alongside my bed cracked to let in the cold air and to allow me to hear Soapstone Creek. Mornings I learned not to sit up quickly, so as not to hit my head on the ceiling above me—the landing level with the deck, one level below the writing cube.
Everything was gotten to by ladder—my sleeping loft, the deck (which I didn’t use as it was cold each time I was there), and the Cube—a series of three ladders, the last of which required one to balance while holding open the trap door to the Cube. Both times I was there I had to use the little space heater, feeling a little guilty because I was using power, but loving the comfort it brought. Of course, I’d turn it off when I wasn’t up there, or start it a few minutes before I settled in to write.
The writing desk was always at a perfect slant and height, the chair easy to work in. At times I’d have my floor covered with a manuscript I was putting together. The nice things was, I could leave it that way and come back to it later without annoying anyone. A basket to carry the things I would need, a cup of tea and lunch. It was here I did Morning Pages daily. I managed 25 pages the second week I attended, and it *was* very freeing. It was there I wrote for hours without guilt.
Now it’s quiet again. DS reading a book for English, DH doing the crossword. I’ve got my “Jesus candle” burning, the one S gave me when she came over to tell me about my past lives and my guides. I think it’s beeswax, and it’s nestled in a little palm-sized blue glass bowl. Yellow and blue, the colors I’d once imagined when I imagined Jesus. (And by way of Synchronicity Loreena sings the word ‘Jesus’ as I type this. So Holy Spirit, so Zen, at the same time. All things connected, all things flowing.)
The snow came again, and so did a little rain, in between. Temp is hovering right around 33, and according to the reports, it’ll get colder by tomorrow. High 25, I think, tomorrow and Friday. Secretly I’m hoping for no school. Secretly I hope not to have to work. I want to wake up to a foot of snow and a week of cold temperatures. I want a white Christmas. Except it would be good if for Christmas we could have safe roads to drive so that family can all get together as planned. Then we can have more snow, and hunker down to read, write, do puzzles.
I’ll need to get in gear and send in a few submissions before December gives way to 2009. I’ve missed so many deadlines these past few months, and gotten careless with my record-keeping—a thing I was all but obsessive about for three or four years. Now the mailbox doesn’t make me as anxious, but I do still wonder if there’ll be some long awaited acceptance that finally made its way back to me.
For Christmas and New Year I want good news. Maybe the knowledge that my book has been accepted for publication. Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘maybe.’ Let’s try to be more definite, speak in a confident voice about what I want. This coming year, 2009, will be the year I find a publisher for my book. This will be the year my mss. wins a contest. It has been a finalist a few times, and a semi-finalist; now it’s time for the final destination for this particular mss. I’ve gotten so close—runner up to the winner in a contest of 650+ mss.
I just blew my Jesus Candle out. The soft warm flesh of it smells good, even through the lingering smoke trail. I wish for good news. I hope it snows. I hope a lot of things.