When is a writer not a writer . . .
I am at the shack (for those outside Tasmania [Australia] read cottage, beach house etc). I have the laptop with me, I have my revision reports, research notes, dictionary and thesaurus. I arrived at midday. It’s been a mild day . . . unusually. It should be freezing as it’s past June 1, but its forecast to be 17 (64?). The sky is powder blue and there is no wind . . . none. It’s heaven.
When I arrive here, I always touch the door frame of the house and say: ‘Hallo House’ as we have a longstanding relationship. My mother always calls this odd little village on the coast her healing place and the philosophy has become my own – whether I am in a crisis, or just tired or maybe not even anything. The point is that the coast has a way about it and House is like a comfort blanket.
When I have settled, I go to my wardrobe and drawers and drag out shack clothes: worn jeans, tired boatshoes, and a men’s Logans’ sailing rugby top in a heavenly watermelon colour. I fell in love with the colour twelve years ago in Melbourne, bought the top, ran it in on the machine and it became a part of House. It’s got little bleach spots on it, its frayed at the side-splits, its decidely 90’s fashion, but as it slips on, it slips on a mood as well.
The Mood, the Dogs and I leave House and head down to the beach and there the healing really begins. Sounds, sights, shoes off, even if it is winter. I’ve been in the city for a month and walking on the tarmac and riverside beaches translates badly. Today the sight of the sand here blows my mind . . . in a month of city input, I’d forgotten the purity of the colour. I take off the old boatshoes and walk the length of the beach in bare feet, feeling the soft grains beneath. The tide is high and here and there I roll the jeans to the knees and wade. It is astonishing to think that in the first week in winter I can wade in calf-deep water without the creeping paralysis that spreads from Antarctica to our waters for a few months.
The Mood fills me like the bubbles of the best champagne and on returning to House, I just sit and watch the final leaves falling, listen to the birds, watched the younger Jack Russell playing soccer with herself, whilst the older Jack Russell seeks sunbeams. Later I visit the laptop, revise 10 more pages and then find that House’s couch calls, along with a book and some old Country Style mags.
I’ve just read Writer Unboxed http://writerunboxed.com/2010/06/03/on-my-own and Juliet Marillier assures me that part of being a writer is to read, read, read but its hard to think that anything I have done today has been the art of writing.
Then again . . .