Been moving this week -- houses not cities. Moving is a physically demanding time, and mentally stressful, but for me it's also reflective. Going back. Cleaning. Changing. Renewing. Deconstructing. Packing. Removing. Bringing. Assembling. Opening.
I find moments of nostalgia, thinking of all the times I moved as a kid, my several singular relocations as an adult. I wonder how my navy wife mother got her and her four family members shipped away as many times as she did over the course of my dad's career, and afterward the three of us and later still the two of them, still caught up in her life in boxes.
Moving is a time I wish I owned a lot less. I envision selling all my books, or discarding them at a thrift store. I wonder if someone came by and stole a box from my unlocked car in between trips back and forth from apartment to trunk, if I'd mind or secretly thank them. Then I start missing places I've lived before I'm even gone. A lot of emotions stir up.
Weeks like these, besides the daily practice of writing, there isn't a lot of specific material generating on the page. But the time taping and lifting and driving, in this specific instance transitioning two homes into one new place, I have a lot of back-side-of-the-brain thinking. I put project pieces together (images, plot lines, character traits) -- not in an active way (this goes with this and let's set that and I'd better record that now), but in a floating way. Pieces of a few different plays, stories and who-knows-what weave in and out.
I find days like these when I'm not at my desk long hours very instrumental in project creation. As I'm reading The Art of Slow Writing by Louise DeSalvo, which I'd recommend to anyone interested in the writing process, a lot of authors share that perspective. Writing 8 hours a day, 7 days a week is a rare thing for most pros, and it doesn't suit every artists' needs or purposes.
I used to look back on my younger, more dilapidated life as lost time I have to make up. Now, I don't really believe in lost time -- except during moments of deep self-abasement. Whether from sickness, family crisis, poor decisions, burnout or moving, it's all part of the process.
And now, in the U.S. and the world, there are terrible things happening. African American men getting shot down by police without cause, whole LGBTQ communities shot down, retaliations that cause more violence and divisions. This is awful. Shaking. Ugly. And it could feel like lost time. Like everything is hopeless. Like what's the point in creating, in going forward, in doing anything.
But through it all, we can keep moving. Writing. Making good. Maintaining kindness. And love. Standing together. Being together. We can do better. Right now, these things are happening within the process of larger change, and it feels chaotic, nonsensical, and it is. But each moment, let's try in small steps and big ones, to help each other find the greater purpose, and remember that every human is human, and every moment has value.
Process notes on a work in progress. This page serves to invite you into the way I work, with intermittent posts to show you the hows and whys on the whats I make.