Today I sit in a cabin looking out over the Canadian waters we drove ten hours to take in. The men in my life left me at the crack of dawn, convinced there are other fish in the sea. In this case, I sincerely hope they find them. After all, it’s these fishing expeditions that bring them unfathomable joy and bring me to a place of peace and quiet where I can read, write, nap, or do nothing.
So far I’ve been spent most of the day observing my own dysfunction looking for stuff and avoiding the very thing I came here to do. I warmed up by journaling long hand with my favorite pen and select journal and thought I was off to a promising start. But my progress was foiled when I attempted to fire up my laptop and discovered the power outlets in our cabin require an adapter to plug into any one of them.
This in turn required a trip into the unchartered territory of the local bait and tackle shop, followed by a hike to the hardly handy hardware store, and a side trip to Lake of the Loons grocery. Feeling sufficiently discombobulated by the unfamiliar layouts of each store, I was in serious need of a sandwich and a nap upon my safe return to Cabin #5 at the Borderview Lodge.
Unfortunately the sandwich seemed to dull my sixth sense so locating the adapter the clerk cleverly hid inside the collapsible coozie prompted a further delay. I had no choice but to espouse the 12 step approach and admit I was powerless over my writing day, my writing habit had become unmanageable, and that only a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
By declaring this vacation a writing retreat, I may have unwittingly subjected myself to too much pressure, thereby leaving myself vulnerable to distraction. Especially since the Wii Resorts game, which hasn’t been used for six weeks at home, seemed to insist I engage in just one round of Swordplay instead of finishing this blog post.
The funny things is, when my world is crammed full of commitments, all I can think about is creating the spaciousness that an uncommitted week near the lake provides. Now that I’m lucky enough to be in such a place, I realize I need more discipline than usual to make the most of my time here.
Writing requires the kind of solitude, silence, and space that is hard to come by at home. Home remains a juggling act between time intensive work, continual home improvement projects, quality relationships with family and friends, and the need to write about how these things shape me or the world I live in.
For awhile, six months to be exact, I tried to convince myself that not writing didn’t matter to anyone other than me. But I was wrong. I discovered life makes more sense when I am writing. It helps me metabolize the events that baffle, surprise, or delight me and give meaning to ordinary occurrences that might otherwise go unrecognized as the minor miracles they are. Sharing these insights might shed some light on a similar situation you may be experiencing as well.
We are wired to connect through stories and recognize patterns and potential and plots. You may intuit where I’m heading long before I figure it out, but the fact that we eventually get there together is an incredible thing. And hopefully, we’re both better off for taking the journey.
Remembering this, I postpone Swordplay until this evening and work through my distractions so I can finally settle into a rhythm and write. And though I may be on the Canadian border hanging with the loons, when my fishermen return with their catch of the day, I can say I, too, have had my “catch up” of the day with some of the finest fish in the blogging seas.
If teaching a man to fish feeds him for life, teaching this woman to read and write, guarantees she’ll write for life, with only the occasional sabbatical.