It’s hot here in LA. Even in West LA it’s hot. The cats have barely moved. The air is certainly not moving much. It’s been kind of humid. Not East Coast humid, but the sky let loose some definite drops of moisture this morning as I drove Izzy over to the Valley for a school meeting. The almost rain only served to make my car seem dustier.
I was up late two nights ago working on a piece about a poem by Jorie Graham. My piece is not essay, not poem. Something in between that needs courageous editing. I sometimes feel that I spend hours (better spent in actual writing) trying to decide what it is that I do write. Which leads to the question of who cares about my thoughts on Graham’s poem and why this is important enough to spend time on. A raveling and unraveling of thoughts like these serves little purpose.
Better to just write. Better to keep reading really good essays, poems, stories and then grab the notebook. I can hear my friend Sarah John saying, “That’s just an excuse for not writing. It’s not your business deciding what anyone else wants to read. Your job is getting the stuff down on paper.” SJ may not have actually said that, but I like to think she’d give me that little shake now if we were hanging out. To quote Annie Dillard, “Are you a woman, or a mouse?”
It’s Friday. Almost 5 o’clock. I’d like to be heading out the door soon to meet a friend for a drink, dinner or even a movie. Instead, I’m waiting for the heat to subside so I can vacuum without needing a shower afterward. Then I’ll pick my girl up from gym and we’ll probably throw in a pizza and watch Shark Week.
Have you stopped reading yet? I don’t think it’s going to get any more interesting or profound than this today. I’m disgusted over the 2 year jail sentence for Pussy Riot for “hooliganism.” A 16 year old girl in the Dominican Republican died from leukemia. Doctors withheld treatment because she was 9 weeks pregnant and they were worried about harming the fetus if they treated the girl’s leukemia with chemo. There’s news everyday on new attacks to women’s healthcare and freedoms.
I realize that my prospects are significantly better. The sadness and anger over the ruin of lives is what I’m sitting with here in my overheated apartment. Recording these thoughts is better than self-pity and breaks through the surface of lethargy and paralysis, but it’s not an answer. It’s not much of an action.
I keep thinking about Helen Gurley Brown‘s message to just keep working (and go out and get laid every so often). I wrote a piece called Stay The Course for this blog and that’s become a theme for me.
Sorry this isn’t a cheerier post. Staying the Course isn’t nearly as much fun as travel, shoe shopping or trying a new restaurant. It’s that middle ground place we all inhabit at times. Uncertainty lining both sides of the path; jeering and taunting and full of distraction. Stay the course means keep your head down and get your work done.
So. Okay. I’ll do that.