Tuesday, June 5, 2012
IWSG from the Beach
I'm writing this from the beach. Well, actually, from the hotel. I'm posting early. It's raining outside, I'm wearing a fleece sweater, and my kids have run out of inside things to do. My husband keeps nervously rattling things around. Rattling gets on my nerves.
The drive to get here was difficult. We planned to stop halfway after six hours, get a hotel room in the mountains, and then drive another six. We did stop in the middle, but each half of the trip took nine hours instead of six, in part because of bad Google directions that took us through a dozen small towns and a thousand stop signs.
Every time we got going at least one of three kids announced they had to pee. Google sent us on a path with very few places to stop. At one point we drove through a town with a little festival that had two porta-potties on the sidewalk. My husband asked Siri where there would be a restaurant or bathroom. She said there were none. So we turned around on a gravel driveway, parked in the lot for a restaurant that did not have a bathroom (what's with that?), and ran for the porta-potties. Thank you, God, for hand sanitizer.
I have a back problem. Once we finally got to a highway, I stopped at rest stops to do yoga on a beach towel on the grass. That's right. I laid on a pink beach towel on the grass at rest stops in three states. Each time I asked my kids or husband to stand with me because I had to close my eyes since the sun was sunny in the sky. I didn't want to open my eyes to see a dog in my face or a crowd of random people staring at me. Every time I opened my eyes, I was alone. They ditched me every time. And every time my husband said, "Oh, you wanted me to stay with you?" Yes I did.
But that's not my point.
The thing I discovered about myself as a writer on this trip that makes me a feel a little less secure than when I left is this: the beach used to inspire me to write. Even thinking of the beach, this beach that I've been visiting since I was a child, inspires me to write. It has always had a magical power to make me feel relaxed and happy. Now it doesn't. It's just the place where the land and water meet. It lost its awe for me.
What if other things that normally inspire me to write suddenly lose their magic?
I know there's really no literal magic - no pixie dust or rainbow unicorns. But there's that magical thing that happens for me, the thing I could count on up until now - where I could put myself in a particular situation and be certain I would get lost in my writing.
I think a comfortable seat would help. Maybe my own laptop instead of my husband's laptop (the keys aren't as loose, and I'm aware of every keypress, which is definitely annoying me enough to keep me from getting lost). In theory a drink from the poolside bar would help, but lately alcohol just gives me a headache.
My epiphany is this: Maybe what I have going on at home, which I normally imagine is a bit of house arrest, is really what I need as a writer. That's kind of awesome. And incredibly ironic.