Hedgebrook Diary: Week 4

September 22, 2015

It feels pretty good to miss most things on social media. Going online is definitely not the way I want to start my days or have them interrupted. It’s nice to spend just five minutes at the end of the day on it. I spent my five minutes last night watching a video of a rat carrying an entire slice of pizza into the subway. Oh, NYC. You’re not all bad.

My attention span has gone back to normal. Normal being a state where the restlessness and boredom that makes me check social media, or my phone for that matter, throughout the day is gone. It’s totally from an impulse to escape wherever I am when I’m checking it. I need these blocks of time to be okay being wherever I am. To inhabit the space fully. And the trick to that is always being where I want to be.

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I started the practice of writing morning pages from The Artist’s Way and that’s been great. It clears the dregs out of my mind.

Also, thanks to Carol, I’ve learned you haven’t made it as a writer until you’ve been to Alaska.

September 25, 2015

Three days left?! That’s it? Hmmm. I’m kinda okay with that, with things coming to an end. I feel like my time was what it was supposed to be. No regrets. On the contrary, a deep gratitude for the privilege of being here. And I’m still here. I am still looking forward to a last soak in the claw foot tub, a few more fires, good conversations and three more amazing dinners. Then I’ll be ready to go home.

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September 26, 2015

Nice try, Yesterday Me. I am so not ready to go home and get my life. Ugh. And I have much to look forward to! I have ideas to execute, a workspace in Chinatown thanks to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. My daughter just left for college this fall so for the first time in a very long time, I actually have my living space all to myself. Bittersweet, since I will miss my daughter’s presence and company, but also exciting since it gives me a lot to play with. Reorganization of space, time, money. If I’m smart and make good moves, this can really be a time of building a more ideal life. We’re always wishing for second chances or opportunities to start over. Well, here it is.

What I’m not ready for is going home to feeling like I don’t have time for anything, or multiple demands on my time leaving me feeling depleted. I was telling someone today, in the forefront of my thoughts going home is how to jealously guard my time. I’m certainly not ready to go home and deal with train commutes (commutes of any kind actually), crowds, work for pay, paying bills, answering emails and texts. I’m not ready to deal with a loved one moving to the west coast.

I’m definitely not ready to leave behind waking up without an alarm clock. Not rushing in the morning. Making fires. Writing first thing in the morning. The armchair in my cottage. Staring out of the windows into forest. Birdsong. Talkative squirrels. The whistle of my tea kettle. Dinner in a farmhouse with five other women writers, being asked how was your work day and the answer being writing related. Food made by someone else’s extraordinary hands. Dessert. Walks to the lagoon and beach. Mount Rainier looking like a dream on the horizon. Rabbits hopping across my path. Quiet, solitary evenings. Deep, dark nights. Stars on clear nights. The moon. The tops of the trees blacker than the night sky. Having learned to walk in the woods at night without fear. Well, not as much as when I got here. Reading in bed. Even those damn banana slugs. Actually no, I am ready to leave them behind.

I suppose I’m not ready, but I will be fine anyway. And many things will stay will me, as they have from each of my residencies.

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