When I Think How Good (Life) Can Be…

“Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.”
– Truman Capote

 

Today is a holiday for most of Canada, including Ontario, where I live.

All long weekend I’ve been having these… flashes, presentiments I guess, of what life would be like if I were ready to write full-time. I mean, for the last 72 hours I haven’t worn a lab coat; I haven’t worn safety glasses or gloves or sensible footwear. I haven’t spent any time at all doing things according to what other people wanted.

Instead I spent time outdoors, with family. I rose when I felt like; I stayed up late, reading. In short, I made my own schedule, a privilege denied me by my workaday week. And while I never stopped thinking about writing or where my career is headed, it was with excitement and hope, not dread.

When I came to the page I felt refreshed and thrilled to be so lucky, and I can’t help but yearn for the time when this will be my daily routine. Nothing excites me more than the idea of spending eight, ten, twelve hours at my desk, watching movies play in my head while I chase the words that describe them.

I had one of these little flashes just now, sprawled on the bed reading We Need to Talk About Kevin (which is brilliant, by the way). The sun’s going down, and the branches of the trees are starting to do that black-silhouette thing I love so much. I just felt so calm, so at peace, and it makes me want to move forward into the time when I won’t be under fluorescent lights at this time of evening. When I can look forward to spending time watching my bats after a long day of writing, when I can sit on the back deck with a hot cup of coffee and not have to worry about whether it’ll keep me up that night.

I get these little glimpses, and they make me briefly so happy. But like a junkie, I want more. It used to hurt unbearably, reaching for something that seemed so out of reach. But every month my writing’s earning a little more, then a little more, and it makes me start to think: There could be something here, if only I can keep on track and push myself a just a little further each day.

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