Working Like Annie Dillard
This picture is Sara's roller coaster car invention. I look at it and it makes me feel tired. It makes me feel tired because I do not feel so inventive right now.
I am feeling rather more like Annie Dillard who says, in The Writing Life, "how...do you prepare yourself, all alone, to enter an extraordinary state on an ordinary morning? How to set yourself spinning? Where is an edge— a dangerous edge— and where is the trail to the edge and the strength to climb it?"
Further on, she reveals the secret... "I pointed myself. I walked to the water. I played the hateful recorder, washed dishes, drank coffee, stood on a beach log, watched bird. That was the first part; it could take all morning or all month..."
I realize I've been leaning ever harder towards this secret...
On Saturday, looking to set myself spinning, looking to crank myself up the roller coaster hill so I could come racing down it, I began to work on my writing, like Annie D. I spent the morning on the phone. I did some dishes. I spent the afternoon coming up with 9 themes around which to organize a homeschool club for the year. (I was most pleased with the thought of "bridges" and "The Magic Flute"). I mowed the lawn with a manual mower, which makes a pleasing "whirring" noise and knocks down as much grass as it cuts. By evening, I hadn't penned (keystroked?) a single word towards an article I'm pursuing.
Yes, I had worked like Annie Dillard. Now all I need to do is write like her. Or maybe like the essential, recharged me.
Sara's Roller Coaster Invention photo, by L.L. Barkat.
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