Today is my 39 1/2 birthday. I'm celebrating by spending the day in my Spruce Street writing office, working on The North Side of Trees. That's the short version of a funny tale that involves Carribbean islands and apple orchards and boundaries. In a long, far flung conversation over afternoon tea in Boston last October with Pamela Daniels, (who I am still stunned to have been fortunate enough to have as my college dean lo these many years ago), she asked me what I needed to be able to finish writing my book and I answered that I thought I needed to go away from my daily life for 6 weeks and leave obligation behind.
I considered 3 different geographies: a farm in north Texas belonging to my in-laws, a bed and breakfast in an apple orchard in western Colorado belonging to an extra-extended family member, and an oceanside house in the Bahamas belonging to a longtime Boulder friend, and eventually made all the arrangements to go stay in the Carribbean for 6 weeks, starting last Sunday, March 12th. Toward the end of the week, Brad developed a bad cold (thought he might have strep throat, but didn't) and didn't want to fly all day on Sunday for fear his head might explode, so we delayed our departure date until today -- and I noticed myself feeling relieved about being home the extra couple of days and thinking that I didn't really want to go -- so we didn't. Many big thanks to my friend Lindsey for offering her home as my writing place, and then for being her usual Buddhist calm and flexible self about me changing my mind!
I looked at all the great things about living here in Boulder, including my incredible husband, house, dogs, friends, family, landscape, town, bookstore, and my very own writing sanctuary full of books and music and calm and thought that I really need to figure out a way to do my work here, where my life is -- so I'm going to do that for the next 6 weeks instead of taking a geographical cure. I'm going to hibernate and let my obligations fend for themselves and just focus on doing my writing work. My desk at home is already mostly buried in the daily papers of life, and I'm just going to let things keep piling up around me as I plow ahead toward finishing the first draft of this book. I'm going away from my daily life, but I'm staying here in Boulder..