On A Walk

“Another restless night. I got up at dawn and worked, my eyes burned from deciphering scribbled envelopes, endpapers, and stained napkins, then transcribing the text to the computer with everything out of order, then trying to make sense of a subjective narrative with an asymmetrical timeline…

Partners depend on one another’s eyes. The one says, tell me what you see. His partner must speak assuredly, not leaving anything out. But a writer has no partner. He has to step back and ask himself–tell me what you see. But since he is telling himself he doesn’t have to be perfectly clear, because something inside holds any given missing part–the unclear or partially articulated.” —Patti Smith “M Train”

This morning I got up and sat before the screen trying to write. Actually to rewrite an awful chapter in my work-in-progress novel. I wanted to scrap the whole thing and start over, plant a new seed on the page that would grow into something hearty and permanent. Good luck with that, I told myself, and got up and went for a walk. It’s hard to concentrate when the Gulf of Mexico sparkles beyond the glass doors.

On my walk

What the act of writing feelings like most days. A swampy mess of tangled roots.
A workman ciphering a street drain laughed about seeing snakes in the murky water.
What the act of writing feels like most days. Scraggy sentences bent and crippled.
The page of words like a swamp of tangled roots.
A workman cleaning a street drain laughed about seeing snakes in the murky water.
I thought about my fears, my self-doubt. Then I saw this.

When the roots of your imagination entwine and reach toward the light.
When the roots of your imagination entwine and reach toward the light.
It’s possible. Look what happens when you make it out of the swamp. Onward and upward. Bird by Bird!