I am feeling lighter these days, not only because winter seems to be heading out. The leave-taking is slow; rain and hail this afternoon. But I am glad to report that I do not yet have to take leave of where I live, that I can stay a little longer. In some ways I feel I am living off the grid, though obviously I am not, as I haul huge sacks of gourmet groceries out of the trunk of my not yet paid for car. But then I don’t think I ever imagined to be in my mid-fifties in the place I had been in my mid-twenties. I had been so miserable then. I am not so miserable now, nor do I think I ever could be in that way. But I was fully caught up in my work, unselfishly, un-self-consciously, because everyone around me, then, was caught up in their work, writing or painting.
So here I am, once again not receiving any of the grants I applied for this year, and thinking ,maybe next year. Or maybe no; time to retire for asking for more.
A more radical idea would be to say that I have been lucky to receive what I did then, and continue to receive now. I am still sheltered by the same arts institution as in my twenties, as i said, and I work with working writers at another institution. I am teaching Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse where there are more than enough phrases to circle the world with the sheer joy of language.
And yet. Is this exactly all there is? What exactly else is there? I don’t seem to be climbing up anymore in my career, but walking laterally. I have two cats. Family and friends. Great students. I still miss Boulder. I think about my old dreams of moving to England for a spell or France. How can I have not seem Rome? Or Greece? I know there is more.
So the task is to see how to make sense of what I have and what I want.
For a long while, I used to, to be honest, think, how can people they help me. Using people–it is not a way I want to live. Certainly not, would say a character from a book I love, in an English voice. But I’m not English; American: brash, obnoxious; friendly. Oh,and Indian, another thing altogether. Or not. If I had a grant, would I be able to sort through my ideas any better? Is writing a blog like writing a diary, only the publishing occurs before death?
April: when the land ought to be green, where patience is required.
Indira, that was so straightforward and beautiful. It reflects, I think, in many ways the concerns (with gratitudes, with regrets, with longing, with satisfactions….) that so many of us feel as we grow older. Is it time to write another novel? And soon to grow your garden? Nevermind the grant, creativity, the creative act, is what brings spiritual peace. And your novels are so fine!
You know, i have not worked on my novel in progress this month! It is called coriander, and continues from the last one-/ thanks, Jenny!