I’m sitting at a desk that is astonishingly uncluttered. It holds my Macbook, a cup of coffee (on a tile coaster) and a vase of fragrant fresh flowers. I sit facing the window so that I can gaze out at the trees while I ponder my next paragraph. Somewhere in another room, a jazz station is softly playing on the radio.
How do I look?
That is how I imagined my writing life to be. Organized. Uncluttered. Soothing.
Lies. All of it.
Here’s how I’m really writing this. I’m sitting in the family room of my house as I wait for the Gas Company repairman to come to replace our gas meter. There are old magazines, strewn about shoes and unfolded throw blankets all around. I’m on the old sofa that is comfy but it is ancient and faded and smells way too much like old dog. My legs are tucked under me in a way that is cozy now but will cost me in knee pain later and the computer is on my lap. Upstairs, my son is home sick from school. He’ll spend the day alternately snoozing on my bed or watching TV from my bed as he recuperates. (He is not allowed a TV in his room. This is the cause of many heated debates – but I digress….) The dog is under the couch I’m sitting on and she is snoring. This is real life. I’m ready to jump up at a moment’s notice to get the door or answer a call. I’m writing but I’m not immersed in the process, as I had imagined. Instead, I float.
The writing will get done. The studying will be done. The sermon will be written. The dirt and grime and piles of laundry are not going anywhere. The fantasy of a dedicated clutter–free writing space remains a dream, although, it ‘s no longer an appealing dream. I’m cozy and productive here on my stinky, faded couch. I’m soothed by the sounds of a snoring terrier and the water running in the upstairs bathroom. My forced slow down via tardy repairman is a blessing. Each day I discover that more and more of my life is lived on the fringes of my plans.
So, despite the fact that the calm, clean writing space is a dream - I am still willing to accept fresh flowers,– if anyone is willing……