Inching Toward Simplicity: Pragmatics and Prose

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Stealing Time, or Stealing Beauty

I’ve let the blog slip, a bit. I’ve let life crowd it out.

Listen to those friends who remind you to persist in whatever you love, to take time for it. Steal time, if you must. Stealing time to write, for me, is stealing beauty. Even when I don’t make it to the computer, I turn over a title, a story in my head. Yesterday, as I washed thick soot off of fire-damaged fine china, I thought about the wealthy great grandmother I never met, described by my mother as rich in possessions but poor in warmth and generosity. I thought about the legacy of families, how our tendencies trickle down through generations, how we are blessed by our heritage but also must fight its bad habits, its demons. All this, a baby plot for a novel (never mind that I don’t write fiction) while I stood at the sink.

I have a day of tasks before me. A big trip tomorrow. Lists to make, suitcases to pack, work papers to sort, a house to clean, a husband with an injured foot whose best hope for navigating the airport is to rest today.

When I set up this blog, I planned to start each entry with some pragmatic tips, only then letting open the floodgates to philosophizing. But sometimes I want to avoid pragmatism. The most effective start for my day, a day all about productivity and completion, is to sit and think, to re-sort priorities. Push aside the tips and tricks, the efficiencies for a moment. Let my day be driven, or at least started, by what I desire.

I got a kick out my mom yesterday, for I saw myself in her. She lacks a computer since the house fire, so I printed the blogs she has missed. She pored over them with keen interest, eager to phone me with commentary and encouragement. It reminded me of how I examine Gavin’s drawings from school, wonder at his imagination, display them for all the family to see. I encourage him, as my mom encourages me. As my sister, husband, and friends encourage me. So I had to get back here, if only for a quick dip in the oasis of creativity that teases from the horizon. If only to acknowledge this part of myself that has to wait today while I hustle and bustle. I’ve made a list of small writing projects to bring along. I hope for, savor the possibility of more stolen beauty, early mornings at the hotel room writing desk in Las Vegas.

PS: The movie Stealing Beauty has great footage from Tuscany, a real treat for the eyes (as is Liv Tyler, its star). More than that, I remember its soundtrack, my first introduction to Nina Simone, and her classic My Baby Just Cares for Me. Great music to pack to, if I can find the tape.


Post a Comment

<< Home