Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
This morning, ever-thoughtful Terje wrote a post about her summer of not writing which has me ruminating over my own summer writing habits. “I need the summer to turn inward,” she concluded, “cherish the seldom moments of solitude…”. After months of hectic activity – closing down my classroom, packing up one house, moving into another – I find myself with plenty of solitude to cherish, and yet an inward turning that seems to preclude writing.
Yesterday, the farm was battered with rain from all sides: sometimes it marched up the valley, at others it stormed eastward from the Green Mountains, and at others it seemed to simply break overheard without warning. From time to time I watched its progress from the one dry end of our front porch, mesmerized by the play of wind, rain, and light. I was so still that a bird alighting on the porch table in search of some respite did not notice that I, too, was taking cover there.
A rainy day. The perfect day to write. It brought to mind this Jane Kenyon poem, especially the last two lines:
Afternoon in the House – Jane Kenyon
It’s quiet here. The cats
in a favored place.
the geranium leans this way
to see if I’m writing about her:
head all petals, brown
stalks, and those green fans.
So you see,
I am writing about you.
I turn on the radio. Wrong.
Let’s not have any noise
in this room, except
the sound of a voice reading a poem.
The cats request
The Meadow Mouse, by Theodore Roethke.
The house settles down on its haunches
for a doze.
I know you are with me, plants,
and cats—and even so, I’m frightened,
sitting in the middle of perfect
Summer seems to call both ways: inviting us to turn inward and replenish, and also inviting us to take advantage “of perfect possibility”, to write. Sometimes one can answer both calls, sometimes not…yet.