“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” ~John Steinbeck
I can see Gracee and the neighbor girl outside. Gracee writes something with her finger in the wet sand while Jackie sits in the “castle” with dolls. Lost in an imaginary world. Nothing hanging over them.
No bills to pay. No laundry to do. No dinner to plan. Not worried about doing too much or not enough.
Just being. Whatever they feel like at the moment.
I feel more like a writer every day.
But I still feel cluttered. Duties distract, and I resent the time taken from writing. When I write, I fight guilt. This afternoon I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up from Monday night’s dinner. Such as it was.
Yes, I know this is Wednesday.
But I devote Monday to study, and then I teach on Tuesday. And after class yesterday, I met Abby for lunch and shopping. And then I came home and wrote some more. And this morning I wrote. And then got a pedicure with Abby.
I lived some life.
And the kitchen finally screamed for attention.
I just dewrinkled the same load of clothes for the third time. I need to comb through photos and mementos and organize them for posterity. I stare at partially stripped wallpaper and walls that need fresh paint. I peer through dirty windows. The carpet demands a visit from the cleaning professionals. The weeds may soon crawl under the doors.
That basement bathroom looks pretty gross. So does the upstairs one for that matter.
And my year-old harp weeps for a loving hand.
Never free. Of duties that need doing. Of ideas that keep breeding.
I need more time to be.
I need to shed even more stuff. Simplify yet some more.
Because I want to live a simpler life.
Because I want to lose myself in an imaginary world.
Because I want to play in the castle with words.
Because this writing thing chases me, yowls and paws at me like a love-hungry cat.
Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King
Wendy Paine Miller says
I love playing in the castle with words!
Cassandra Frear says
I needed this today!
Kathleen Overby says
a day in the life of a real writer
I love this! If I get my "have tos" done I more enjoy the time with my "wanna dos". Ah, but at least when we're in the real world we get fodder for our imaginary ones. Everything is a potential story.
Oh I love this! It makes me feel better about the dust bunnies rolling like tumbleweed through my living room! And the unfolded basket of laundry that's been sitting a the bottom of stairs for 5 days — 5 days!
Susan J. Reinhardt says
Hi Sandra –
No matter what we love to do, we must squeeze it into our schedule – arrange those rocks in the jar so they all fit.
Thanks for expressing what so many of us feel.
You have so perfectly encapsulated my entire life. I am constantly striving to find a balance!
Sandra Heska King says
Well, it's good to see we're all struggling with the rocks and raising dust bunnies while we long to spend more time in the castle. Thanks for coming by!
@katdish: Now I just have to pry the "shoulds" away from the "have tos."
@Graceful: After the basket sits in one place for 5 days, it's time to move it to another room. 😉