With my playmate gone back to Concord and my personal trainer benched with a lacerated paw, my excuses — my diversions — were reduced to size, and I got back to work today.
I am in the mind of an eight-year-old. Or trying to be. Not just 'in' but revealing it simultaneously to the omniscient reader. It's an out-of-body time-traveling experience. Hovering just overhead. A voyeur with a clear view but a murky one as well. How long it has been since I myself was eight. Is it possible to remember the inside of a child's head? Forage faithfully in that long-ago heart? It could only, ever be the child I was, as hers is the only child's interior world I will ever experience. For all that veracity, it still feels like a kind of trespass. Shining a probing light into a sacred space.
I wrote some. Now I'm thinking more. I do my best work in the middle of the night (though there is competition for my waking hours these nights — trying to work my way through The Red Badge of Courage — of all things) or while walking solo for endless miles along a beach or through the forest. I am reminded often of the old rube about the writer whose wife thought him a good-for-nothing because she did not understand that, when he stood gazing out the window, he was working, not goofing off. I gaze inward and backward on this project, sleuthing for clues to the whys of sibling discord, the whys of parenting missteps. Having only been a younger sibling and never a parent.
Too bad I only have one more day to give this child, to help her find her feet on the page. Not that I will abandon her. But that she will have to vie for my attention along with house plans and permitting meetings, last minute preparations for England and ongoing preparations for everyday life. Much as she vies for attention and space in the lives of her fictional parents, losing more often than winning. At least in the short term.
Truffle: A bike ride to Madaket, including an interlude with a nesting cliff swallow who ducked in and out of a nearby birdhouse feeding unseen young.
Quote of the day: "Funny how fallin' feels like flyin' — for a little while." (song from Crazy Heart)