Have you ever been so tired that you are too tired even to read?
It has been a long and busy week of days that seemed to contract and expand like bad accordion playing, and here it is Saturday morning. I’m tired—and crabby. Coffee will help.
Internet problems, rushed editorial meetings, cramped writing deadlines—including some, I admit, that are self-imposed—the latest onslaught of spam and junk mail, discouraging yet to-be-expected interpersonal disappearances down rabbit holes (promises, promises), and ongoing “communication” issues with a variety of sources from brainstorm to typesetting have all contributed to this morning’s grouchy blur. And that’s just this past Monday through Friday!
I am grateful for the elasticity of a blog. So many deadlines, and expectations, are rigid.
Nevertheless, over the several months that I’ve been doing this type of writing I’ve enacted a kind of publication schedule that when difficult to meet, can add to the editorial pressures I routinely feel…
This morning, as I made the trek from restless sleep to coffee cup, nearly tripped by the cat as I reached the very small set of steps into my home office—a daily occurrence as he attempts to herd me toward his beloved food bowl—I was almost too cranky to notice the morning sky: Robin’s egg blue, with just a trace of wispy cloud.
As I paused to stare out the bay window in the dining room the heat kicked on with a whoosh in reaction to the gust of cold wind that foretells March.
March is a good month in my household, filled with brisk weather, birthdays and anniversaries, and a highly anticipated visit from a Shamus O’Malley from Leprechaun Alley. Trickster that he is, Shamus always leaves a trail of funny destruction (he likes to empty underwear drawers and hang boy’s briefs from the ceiling fans), coins, and sometimes even a treasure map in his wake.
I like to put up St. Patrick’s Day and spring decorations in March. The green everywhere is heartening. I adore the bluster of March wind. It’s invigorating and inspiring. For me, it foretells the descent of the Holy Spirit and the Muse.
Speaking of which, she’s the one who wreaked the greatest havoc with my schedule this week. I neglected to mention that I also turned in one large manuscript, and completed heavy revisions on and handed in two others. I have no sense of the future of these manuscripts (and hard experience has taught me not to fortune tell), but among the rest of the above, as well as the ins and outs of personal life, much of this past week is lost in the mists of inspiration. As I told my husband late last night, “When the Muse shows up, you invite her to stay for as long as she likes.”
So the Muse is a demanding guest. I have a lot of cleaning up to do this weekend. And while it’s early Saturday morning, I already need a nap.
But it’s a blustery day, and I love it. I turn to my left and see a bookcase packed with poetry. On my desk to my right is a pile of books, including a copy of the fiftieth anniversary edition of M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating, returned to me by my mom, who really knows her way around the kitchen.
I flip open to a random page and this is what I read: “There are two questions which can easily be asked about a potato: What is it, and Why is it?” The essay title is “Let the Sky Rain Potatoes.” Suddenly, I’m feeling the urge to read.
And keep writing. Despite the fatigue, around obligations, across rejections, in hushed morning minutes, between rushed afternoon appointments, and through the long exhausted evenings, ever and anon, slinging coffee, flinging my lasso Muse-ward with a “Hi-Yo, Deadline!” and off into the Russet and golden Yukon sunset.
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