Writing Exercise

Indira Ganesan, Fingernail or Eyelash Moon, 2021

Maybe writing is like exercise; without practice, one loses the habit. Maybe it begins on a day you feel a little off; I’ll write tomorrow, you think. Then, you are skipping a few days, a week. The threat of Covid steps in, and you begin to bake. If you do not not have a project–a novel, a memoir, something you can add on like an add-a-pearl necklace–then, the will to write whittles away. Maybe it is a period of gestation–nine months of gathering, of waiting, but the urge is gone. Then the days stretch ahead–you read books, read mysteries, see friends, but the weight of the afternoon hangs heavy. So you pay attention, and wonder how to start again.

Start small–a page a day. Some nonsense scribbled down that you put away. And again, another scribbled page the next day. Your memory will return. The muscle is flexed, stretched. And after a while, you might just look forward to the time. Instagram, while so fresh, so exciting, will loose its grip.

You will take an inadequate photo of a moon that does not in anyway capture the lucid silver shining sliver of light painting the moon’s belly. You begin to wonder how to desribe it. Does the moon have a belly, and if it does, would it not be positioned equator-like on its surface? So what word can be used to describe the way the cescent is like a slim dish holding the dark moon? How did the haiku masters describe it? Hairline, fingernail, eyelash.

You remember you used to be good with words, and you try, again.

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