Getting Unstuck

It’s hard to find a quiet place to write in a house filled with children. For years, space constraints meant that I hunkered down at a small desk in the corner of the living room, television on one side, Nintendo on the other. I tacked a small red stop sign on the inside of a closet door. When I was writing, I’d open the door to reveal the sign so children would think before interrupting. Time passes. children grow. The last few years I’ve been able to slip away for a few days at a time to conjur other lifetimes.

One of my favorite writing places is Colonyhouse; the upstairs room that gives a level view of the clouds, close enough to hear the pounding waves. It’s easy to get distracted by dark clouds rolling in or the patterns of birds, boats, or lines of surf. I often find myself staring at the shapes of chimney vents on rooftops.


Sometimes, my thoughts give in to the imagined antics of long-stuck smokestacks coming to life. (We can agree to ignore the obvious metaphoric reflection of an object being so rigidly confined to one spot, can’t we?) What a relief to let go of expectations about what we think we ought to be or accomplish–to immerse oneself in the play of what is.

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