Monday, August 1, 2011

Eight Minutes

I want to write.  I want to write everyday.  I've always wanted to write.  When I haven't written for a while, I feel all clogged up, ready to spew, or so bogged down that I can barely drag myself about.  So, why has it been so damn hard to find the time--and take it--to write?  I've realized that I've been waiting, quite foolishly, for those long stretches of quiet time to arrive and buffer me from the usual brouhaha before settling in front of the 'puter, uninterrupted hours that have not been mine for many, many years now, and may not come at all.  So, why wait?

Like now, for instance.  I have exactly eight minutes before I must hop into the car and drive about 15 miles south of here to pick up my younger son at soccer camp.  I just arrived home from working several hours about 20 miles north of here--not quite yet a regular gig, and only part-time, but it seems to be consuming a large part of my day--and tossed aside the usual fillers to instead take a stab at an eight minute post.

You know the drill--you arrive home, in between trips, errands, jobs, yadda yadda, and instead of doing anything meaningful, or something that you really want to do, you fill the time with a succession of ridiculous little tasks designed to make you feel more in control of your Time, and, consequently, your Life.  Sweep the porch.  Rearrange the jumble of shoes on the front porch.  Make your kid a sandwich.  Ask him, again, to clean up his room.  Give the dog fresh water.  Brush out the burrs that she's collected during her morning amble.  Switch the laundry.  Fold a few towels.  Flush the toilet (a problem in my house).  Move some papers around.  Pay a bill.  Check Facebook.  Wipe the crumbs off the kitchen counters.  Put the cat out.  Again.  Pull a few weeds around the front patio.  Brush your teeth.

Of course, we need to spend some of our time grounding ourselves in our daily rituals, whatever they may be.  And sweeping the front porch has always been one of mine.  But much of the domestic oddities I preoccupy myself with are nothing that I really want to be doing.  I'd much rather shift gears entirely, re-establish writing as a daily ritual, and start giving myself permission to write--whatever, however long--as a filler.  Leave the dishes in the sink.  Forget about trying to start dinner early--I've never been able to do that anyway.  Say this a little bit more often: "Busy!  Make your own sandwich, please!"

My eight minutes are up.  Time to get back in the car, drive over hills and rivers and under stormy skies (am expecting to see the Dark Mark at any second), and back again, jiggety jig.  Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to grab another eight minutes.  It's a worthy goal.  I've got to start someplace.  Might as well be here.