"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."~ Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
What better time than a new year to refresh our souls, welcome in the dark days of winter and let the light of writing shine? That’s what I’ve committed to this winter. Each day offers insight about this business of being older and living alone, observations and reflections which I keep adding to my third memoir, A Woman Alone.
No man is necessary to make life more meaningful, as I once believed, no writing teacher or class can make me want to write, rather what I do with this time is totally up to me.
I am 'retired', which means no schedule to keep, no job that needs attending in order to pay bills. I admit this is an advantage in terms of my creative pursuits. I can fully commit to writing and seeking in community―church, friendships, a yoga class, a writing retreat which I am planning to offer this summer―the magic of each day, if only for an hour, or a minute. I keep notes through one of the many free apps (the one I use is called Notepad Free), so if something comes to me while I'm watching TV or reading a book, I can 'jot' it down on my cell phone.
An unexpected conversation with a friend, as was the case on New Year’s Eve, a visit to nearby Longwood Gardens, a rainy afternoon at Starbucks are important and energizing, and especially necessary as you age. There in the cozy and aromatic warmth of white Christmas lights and coffee, I could write and edit my book, make 'rowing north' an enlightening journey, perhaps like no other, including the halcyon days of youth.
Day trips to nearby Maryland’s Eastern Shore are a way to indulge in what Julia Cameron calls “the artist’s date” by treating myself to a leisurely, solo drive through sun-soaked countryside toward a town of brick homes from the Federalist Period which fly American flags and offer graceful courtyards of hydrangea and magnolia.
As this year progresses, I’ll blog here on Women’s Writing Circle the issues that I hope are relevant and important to women, especially older women, and share excerpts from A Woman Alone. I will post my upcoming travels which include Vietnam in March and Portugal in late May, offer reviews of books I’ve read and continue to feature guest authors and bloggers. Of course, Lily, my dog, my best friend, my companion and my muse will make her way onto these pages.
So, it is that writing always was and continues to be my faithful companion-explorer. Nothing is so sad as the life unexamined. Listen, stay attuned. Load that app on your cell phone ... stay drunk on writing, as Ray Bradbury said, and claim your sacred space. My hope is that what we continue to share here might resonate, or encourage you to pick up pen, whether as a healthy or healing journey, or one imbued with the joy of exploring your creative muse, no matter the age. Onward and upward, friends and faithful ones, toward a festive and fulfilling new year filled with the elixir of writing.