The thing is, and I know it’s been said before, but writing is ALL MINE. There is no exertion of effort on another’s behalf. There is no obligation. There is no dutiful. There is no pushing myself physically. There is sitting on my couch and opening my laptop and writing, and I could do it, happily, from now until the end of time.
I would be very pleased if in addition to writing I could float in the sea. When I was 30 I went on a yoga retreat in Tobago. Every day we practiced yoga, and then we went down to the beach in the little fishing village where we were staying, and I would pretend to begin to read a book… and within minutes, I was out in the ocean, just floating on my back, staring up at the sky and the cliffs around the cove, feeling the water in me and on me and all around me, and I was in heaven.
Then, I’d swim back to the shore and fall asleep on my towel on the sand, before another yoga session, dinner, and bed.
I could live my days like that. Only I’d add writing to the mix.
And my family. Sure, they’d live in a little house in the village, self-sufficient and lovely, and someone would feed them, and keep our house clean — a fairy, say — and Jordan could make music and Ali could play and explore to her heart’s delight. And grandparents would visit — we’d have a whole guest house for them, sure, and friends, too, and we’d have friends in the village… people with whom to break bread, or drink wine, gazing up at the stars.
But there would be no obligation. In this reality, everyone would take care of him or herself. (Except for the fairy who fed me and kept my house looking good. And maybe occasionally bought me a new bathing suit, and cut my hair, gave me a massage or some acupuncture, led a yoga class…)
And ok maybe a couple times a year we’d travel — me, Jordan, Ali and our fairy. We’d go to Paris, to Africa for safari, to Kauai for a glimpse of another slice of paradise. And then we’d come back to our perfect existence of writing and playing and floating in the sea.
This is what writing represents for me: The floating, the fairy… the fairytale. An instant and stream of instants of having all of my needs met.
And so I write.