Stuff and Things

I’m curious about your first thought in the morning. Your first coherent thought. I don’t know about you, but I like to pay attention to these sorts of things.

Do you wake up thinking about breakfast? About the pink/blue/speckled eggs your neighbor brought over the other night, and the fancy European butter you didn’t have to buy? And maybe about that smoked trout, still sitting in the third drawer down?

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This is standard practice, for me. This waking up wondering about what I could make. Yesterday, when I swung my legs off to the side, I was thinking about mushrooms. (Maybe they’d surprise me and clean themselves.) I was thinking about bright green chives, snipped from my mama’s garden. And also about pepper. A good amount of pepper.

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But lately, honestly, I’ve been waking up thinking about birds. Real birds. (As in: not pigeons.) Chirping! Real birds chirping — really rather insistently — right outside. Right outside my open window. (!!!) I tell you, it’s amazing what a year in NYC will do to a girl.

Everything is quieter here, as I’m sure you can imagine. But the individual sounds? All amplified. It feels so healthy, to hear them all again. It’s good for me to back here, I think. For a little while. I’ll be off to visit potential Places to Begin Again soon enough.

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So sometimes I wake up thinking about cities, and sometimes I wake up thinking about fresh air, and red-winged blackbirds, and acres and acres of land. And I nearly always wake up thinking about butter, melting in a pan. Bubbling and browning and basically bringing me to my knees.

There is just one more thing. Every morning I wake up and think, today is the day. Today is the day I’ll start working on the book.

And every day, I exercise and eat and shower and sit down and do not start working on the book. I actually think I might be procrastinating, for the first time in my life. You’d like to see a Table of Contents? Sure! Please hold, while I go Instagram everything under the sun.

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It’s not that I’m scared to start, although of course I’m afraid. It’s more that I’m finding it very difficult to put the book before the blog. I don’t seem to have enough emotional energy to work on both at once, and I’ve always liked to write as things happen. To write myself through, you see.

But there is so much stuff still happening — happening now. And I’m not — I don’t know — done, yet. Isn’t it obvious that I haven’t finished figuring ANYTHING out? Except for the fact that I’m not heartbroken anymore, and I don’t have any particular desire to go back and act like I am again. And I think that’s the writing that you liked best.

Also, I think real writers manage to refrain from using words like “stuff.” And “things.” And when you ask them about possible conclusions, they probably don’t really just want to go read a book that somebody else wrote. (Although I don’t even seem to be able to do that anymore — I can’t get by the acknowledgements. Who are the people that helped this person DO this?)

And real writers, when they think about starting to write, they probably don’t find themselves just wishing for a solid 15 minutes alone. Not with their computer — with a personal-sized chocolate malt banana cream pie.

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