I’m in my writing room writing. It’s 16 degrees outside and I’ve been nursing my furnace through one more season, please, using notes and a metal tool.
My life is rich and uncertain. I live a writing life. Rich. I am on my own after a long marriage. Uncertain. I have meaningful work as a teaching assistant for a course with my graduate school, as assistant fiction editor of a literary journal, as a freelance writer for a university magazine, as a promoter of friends’ artistic works, as a board member for two non-profits. Rich. Only one of these gigs pays. Uncertain.
And there’s my novel to revise. Others, including an agent, are waiting to read the manuscript.
What is certain is that my whole being is recalibrating. I can almost hear the clicking and whirring, like a deck of cards shuffling inside or like the old furnace in the basement blowing, crackling, and blessedly igniting with a roar.
I’m in my writing room this morning thinking, my dog giving up his pleading for play and slipping into a soft snore. Russell Edson’s The Tunnel is in my lap. I haven’t picked up the book since I took the class as a student four years ago. I’ve never been willing to sell or recycle my textbooks, though I’m becoming more discerning about what I keep. Edson is like an edgy old friend I put on a shelf. Today, I’m reading his “Waiting for the Signal Man” and considering the grad students’ and teacher’s take on the prose poem, its imagery, ideas, and techniques. A student observes that the poem folds into and out of itself and I offer thoughts about why.
After a long silence here and elsewhere, inspiration sparks and a few words release. Awash in grey, I dream of southern Louisiana and what I will bring when I return this spring. The Road to Indigo calls.