Saturday, March 24, 2012

Circadian Calm

My priest, the last one I had, used to say, when wrangling someone to serve on a committee, we each have the same 24 hours. My mind would cry out, but I am busy! When it did, I had made his point.

We each have the same 24 hours.

I hadn't caught up with Modernism when I wrote my first novel (in the drawer). I thought it was my idea to write in 24 hour segments. Well, it was a good idea.

I always had a sense of the day as being the big picture. Nature impressed it, I suppose. I deeply believe in dailiness, in its value. If you want depth, attend to your relationship, your book, your muscles daily. Two minutes, ten minutes, ten hours, that isn't important. It is doing something in the period of one circadian rhythm that matters.

Interruption is toxic.

I just had a week alone, at VCCA. I kept my head down and worked. I had a week of days. Each morning I woke up and lay in bed for a while, listening to the birds. I made coffee in the nearest kitchen, and wrote for a couple of hours. Then walked over to the dining room for breakfast, which I ate as silently as possible. More writing, thinking, reading. Lunch--a plate taken back to my room, not meeting anyone's eye. A break after lunch, phone a friend, go into town to Lou's Antiques, a walk at Sweetbriar. Back to the desk until dinner. Then back to the desk until my final step outside to look up at the sky, and to watch the horses in the dark.

Did you get a lot done? I wrote pages, revised pages, planned. The main thing, though, is that each day I poured from my sleeping self into my waking self completely, the way a tidepool is filled and emptied.

1 comment:

  1. Years, I had a whole month of days like this at the Bennington Summer Writing Workshop in Vermont. It was heaven.