New Year’s Day 2010: I like a simple life, when a lunch made from scratch and a walk to the mailbox are the highlights of the day. When I’m free to drop what I’m doing to photograph swirling shapes of steam coming off a freshly poured cup of tea illuminated by afternoon sun.
I like it when the first line of a story breaks through and I can write it down right away. When I can go from doing that to doing research on a dying writer’s last words, or the life of Patti Smith, or the etymology of a word that strikes my fancy, like brouhaha or jalopy.
I like it when the red-headed woodpecker in the yard catches my eye and I find myself writing BIRDSEED on my latest shopping list. When I can sit with a catalog and leisurely fantasize about the winter boots I want for Christmas next year. When I can make a call to my mother in Massachusetts to wish her a Happy New Year because I hardly ever make calls and she usually calls first.
I like to stop during the day and flip through a new literary magazine to read a few stories and poems. And when one certain poem brings me to tears I like to let them come. I like to read the writers bio-notes and email the author to say thank-you.
I like a day when I can get lost in thought while wiping down the kitchen counters or sweeping the floor, and then stop mid-sweep to browse through the pamphlet my friend Alwyn authored for Christmas. I underline in neon yellow the part that says: “Our task is to merge the peace testimonies of the past into a new vision, in which peace with the earth is synonymous with peace on earth.”
I like that there is no football or parade noise coming from the TV when I’m lying on my bed in the middle of the day with a pen to mark up a printed copy of something I’ve written. Just the sound of the wind howling and the wood stove fan blowing.
At dusk, I like to sit quietly and study the meeting of light and dark on the window pane, where the room seems to stretch out into the yard and it’s hard to tell the difference between physical reality and reflection.
The day goes by too fast, but I enjoy it like a rich dessert. Just a couple of bites at one sitting. I don’t like to be overfull. There will be more tomorrow. I save room.