MORNING COFFEE 45 - chain reactions

By Susan Weber

I’ve tried to convince my sister to write. She’s inquisitive and smart. She’s very funny. She remembers everything she ever knew and thinks outside the box. She likes words and definitely has her own writer’s voice. But life is short and she’d rather spend it doing the kind of things serious writers don’t have much time for—singing, acting, quilting, grandmothering, travel, adoption of animals and stray family members, and of course her voracious consumption of books.

I can’t really argue with her rationale. In fact, she’s just about convinced me I’d be far better off were I to ditch my writing plans and make hay while the sun shines. By hay I mean fun stuff, like not chaining myself to a desk for hours, days, and months on end. Disciplined writing I have not done for many months mind you, but I’ve had a plan to get to it for some time now. As soon as this trip or that house project or the whole bereavement portfolio have run their respective courses. I’ll rise at dawn, strap on the ol’ utility belt, crack all ten knuckles, and get on with building worlds.

When I was a young woman, meditation was much in vogue. I read up on it and noticed how its strict practitioners insisted on diligent and disciplined service to the peaceful mind. I wanted to try it, but I was raising kids at the time and distraction was pretty much my middle name. All the requisite deep breathing and chasing off pesky thought with assorted Oms was not going to happen. The closest I came to the crystal clear mind was when I somehow found space to write a song. Now that was a cognitive rush. I came to the conclusion that giving the brain free rein, as opposed to making it please hush, was to be my only brush with meditation. Band practice, playing out, and much much later writing fiction—all good brushes too.

My sister’s more than happy with her choices. I don’t know whether I want to be a hard-core white-knuckled writer, or not. And I don’t need to know right now. Whenever I’m lonely for the satisfied mind, I can grab a good book and drink myself silly on words.

Photo by Dori CC BY-SA 3.0