When I touched my pen to paper this morning, I half expected the ink to clot or sludge. I wondered if I’d have to cajole its steady flow with words of apology for my neglect. But as soon as it touched the page, the ink flowed, ready to record my thoughts. It was a visible reminder that I was the one who had hesitated in the relationship–the one who didn’t show up.
Sarah Orne Jewett wrote, “You must find your own quiet center of life, and write from that.” I find ideas in so many places–in a whirling swirl of activity, in a quiet morning walk, in idle conversations with students or strangers, in interactions with family and friends, and in the flutters, squawks and trills from the bird feeders. But to write, I need first to make and take time and then to sit down, breathe, and arrive at that quiet place within myself. Then, as I write, I can begin to make sense of my thoughts and feelings, and above all, try to figure out what matters. What’s the heart of it all? Inevitably, I feel better after I’ve spent time writing. In the hurly burly tumult of school days it’s difficult to carve out that sacred writing time in the morning, to make it a priority. This morning when the ink flowed and my thoughts wandered and then coalesced, I resolved to do better.