Day After Day

Once upon a time I was rarely busy. In those days, I could hold everything I had to do in my head, a mobile calendar of sorts that I would consult throughout my day. And by consult I mean stare at with my ceaseless mind’s eye, as if that thing I had to do might have moved its time and place since I had looked at it thirty minutes before. Though I had little to do, I was frequently exhausted, and I would find myself napping in chairs at eleven in the morning. By and by there was more to do. There were places I needed to go and people I needed to talk to. Now there was not just the one thing I needed to do but two or three or even sometimes four things. Still, I could hold all these in my head, every email I had to answer and every appointment I needed to keep because that is the kind of head I possess. Such a head is useful at times, not so useful at others. Instead of napping in a chair, I would be wide-awake in my bed, the calendar bright and alive and threatening.

Then the day came where there was much to do I was forced to move my calendar from my mind to my computer. There was so much to do I hadn’t the time to rehearse what would be said to every audience, asked in every interview. I was forced to assume that I would know what to say or do when I did what my actual calendar told me I must do. Now my mind was free to attend to other matters. Now my mind was free to remember other things that lay far beneath the noise of a useless calendar. Though I had many places to go and many people to talk to, I was peaceful, and I slept only at night.

Sometimes, as I descend from my day into sleep, I will jerk back to the surface of consciousness where all my worries swim frantically, certain their next stroke will be their last. I am like a parent, who has forgotten his children and must find them before they wander into traffic. Yet it is only a dream in fact, and I see that the calendar of my mind remains pristine, a perfectly empty string of day after day after day.

9781935961994-Perfect_CS.inddWrite Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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