I’m house/kitty-sitting for a friend at her small studio in Santa Fe. Outside the sky is a blue I don’t have a name for and the cottonwoods along the Santa Fe River glow golden yellow. I came here after two weeks in Greece, a journey with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and our friend, to celebrate my birthday and for me to return to some of the places I’m writing about in my memoir. My time in Santa Fe is also a writing retreat and a time of solitude.
This morning, writing at a desk that faces outside where an apple tree offers up its ruby fruit for the birds, I wrote what I think might be the beginning of my memoir. Yesterday I wrote what might be the end. This may seem strange to write the ending before the beginning, but it’s not really. I started in the middle sixteen months ago and have been working toward the end ever since. Besides I’m still in notebook draft (notebook #9) and everything will probably change anyhow as I lift all this from notebook to computer and begin working with manuscript drafts, which will also be numbered and subject to change.
It feels good to be writing daily again after not all those days traveling around Greece. In fact I hardly even wrote in my journal while we were gone, which is really strange for me. I’m a daily journal writer. It’s how I have begun my days for decades. Journal, candle, cup of coffee (or two or more).
I forgot what it’s like to be a writer with a kitty accomplice. This kitty–Rumi–has much to say and doesn’t hesitate interrupting. But she also curls next to me as I write, especially when I sit on the daybed, and purrs. I haven’t lived with a kitty since my own Rumi was hit by a car five years ago. This may change when I return to San Diego. I like talking to someone besides myself. Sometimes cats even make a show like they’re listening.
Old habits that feel new again after a few weeks’ break. I’m even back to my morning yoga practice. My body says thank you.
What about your habits, writing and otherwise? Do you ever take a break from them? Do you find it difficult to return or does it feel like coming home again?