Thursday, January 31, 2019
I tell Alyssa, the mother of the girls I am nannying, that I'm reading a book called The True Secret of Writing (which my friend Jay gave me on my birthday), and that it's giving me inspiration and some structure for ideas (although it does lack some spiritual depth and style, in my opinion). I say this because under my hand is a sheet of paper and a pen, and I was writing as she walked in. I tell her that once I let something I write out into the world, I feel both ashamed and empty of meaning afterward (she understands), and that this will be a serious issue I'll have to figure out, if I am to write a whole book. I say this as we are in the kitchen, after I put Cara to bed for her nap, and Lucy is watching The Cat in the Hat on TV. Alyssa is home briefly in the middle of my time there, before going out again for errands.
When she comes home again later, it is after the girls and I have played outside and read stories, and I leave those two beloved little silly gooses who wave goodbye and give me hugs, and I walk to the bus stop.
I stand at the bus stop alongside the traffic-ridden street, visually following the road as it winds back down Lakeway Drive, and I fixate my eyes on the spot where the cars start coming into view, where the pairs of headlight eyes twinkle into sight, one after the other. It reminds me of something, but I can't recall exactly what. Something that has to do with my grandparents, or with airports; a certain anticipation, in any case. My eyes stare at it, watching the lights pop forward, one, two, three, four... a humdrum rhythm. It's so cold out. I zip my jacket all the way up, but even with my scarf and hat my neck and face are snappingly cold. The cars zipping past cast a strong wind. I notice this only when there is a pause in the vehicle flow and the wind stands still and isn't nearly as freezing.
Finally the bus comes. I had told myself a few minutes earlier, at the estimated arrival time of the bus, that I envisioned it would arrive within two to five minutes (I know it is always a little later than scheduled, especially at this hour), and that that is the amount of time I would be willing to hold on to this meditative state. Beyond that, some threshold would be reached from which on it would be harder to be at complete ease with the logic of the bus's lateness.
Oh, the warmth in the bus. I love sitting in the warm buses at night when it's frosty cold outside. Buses at night remind me of those times I tried to envision in my writing in Alyssa's kitchen, when I tried to take the book's idea and write my story of love. It reminds me of riding late night buses to go visit cherished loved ones, back in the days. That is what I wrote about. Those are part of my love story, definitely. There were a lot of bus rides, all encamped in a sense of warmth and safety... Those small things, stretches of time and place, are part of the story, part of the essence, not just a necessity or a constraint.
We trot along, and I get off right past the lake, in which the shimmering lights from across the way are reflected. As I walk toward home I have this immense gratefulness in my gut, a welcome and strong sense of abundance, and a strong desire to write.
I get so excited from imagining all the food we have! The pineapple, apples, oranges, grapefruits, the dried pasta, rice, lentils, beans, chickpeas, the onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, garlic, mushrooms! So many wonderful products of the earth, raw materials from which to make a delicious meal, what a richness! It fills my heart.