Writing is lonely; I'm lonely today. Usually I don't mind. I was an only child and I crave my own space, my own time. But today I'm feeling under the weather. Not sick exactly, just yucky. My head hurts, my stomach is crampy. It's beyond that. This feeling that I am alone. My husband is planning to come home for lunch. I need to leave in three hours to pick up the kids. I am blessed in friends and family. This loneliness is arbitrary, it hovers unconnected to a single concrete thing.
Maureen Corrigan spoke on NPR about today being the bicentennial of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. She describes a picture of Jane Austin as one of a "middle aged woman.." But Austin died when she was 41. For some reason, this makes me sad. You see, I am up in my head too much today. And I've fallen off target.
This is one of the quiet days. Today I will be busting open no genres. I will be turning nothing on its head. I will sit at my computer for an hour or two, putting words down ploddingly. methodically. Today I will probably produce nothing but a sad pile of words. And that's okay too, isn't it. This is the thing we writers have. We might have episodes of depression, or tendencies toward destruction. At least, that's what the want us to believe, and maybe it's true. But we have our words. Some days the words are all wrong; other days they dance and tilt from our grasp like illusive fairies. But there are always one or two we can grasp. We have been doing this for so long now. We can start with the simple words. I. You. Love. Desire. Hate. These can be stacked on top of one another. They can be shuffled. Words like words. If you put words down on the page, more words will come. And this is how we get through these days. We realize that we are not quite alone. We have our notebooks, our books. Sentences. Images. It's so rich, really. And then tomorrow will come. And the words will come more fiercely, banging at the windows at night. Threatening to put rocks beneath your pillow so that you cannot sleep, so that you must write, write into the morning, write the loneliness away. And that is when we realize, we were never alone at all.