Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

A MacDowell Journal Excerpt ...

Day 2, September 27, 2012 (Written Friday, Sept. 28)

Slept better last night, but I awoke with one of those insanely crippling headaches, sinus-type pain in the front of my head, above my eyes. Took two sinus pills (with acetaminophen), my nut pill, and heartburn aide.
Used an electric hot pot for the first time in my life. Thank God I had a Via packet for morning brew.
It's raining here this morning. Is that a black bear in my line of vision? I watch it intently, waiting for it to move. From the safety of the porch, I am fascinated; I have no fear. Five hours later: If that is a black bear, it is a dead black bear.
Again, thanking my lucky stars (God! My dead parents, rooting for me!) for this opportunity. I heard talk at supper last night that it costs $400 a day to provide for an artist in residence. Feeling much gratitude for MacDowell; feeling optimistic about mankind. I said to Blake yesterday, A culture is defined by its art. He agreed.
Sitting here in my pajamas, cozy-warm. Damn, this radiant heat is nice. A bit worried that Blake, or whomever, is going to deliver my podium while I'm in my pjs, braless. Still haven't showered.
Awaking at 9, I missed breakfast at Colonial Hall. Just ate a protein bar.
Around noon my basket lunch will be delivered. Hell, I might not even shower until closer to supper time.
Went to sleep last night reading Night Navigation, Ginnah's book. That lady can write. Literary fiction that I find enormously readable. Briefly, I experienced I'm-not-good-enough-to-be-here feelings, which I must shake out of my head. I am, after all, HERE. Blake said yesterday in the van that it is wonderful for him to be driving us three artists around. You know, he said, they only take ten percent of those who apply.
Yes, I am worthy.
I am here for a reason.
Someone who reviewed my application agrees. A problem: I'd sent 26 pages from The Hour of Lead, and that novel is sitting on my desk at home. A noose around my neck. I think I will have to have HAS mail it to me.
Still the headache remains. It is near going on 1 p.m. Why hasn't the Tylenol kicked in? I drank two cups of instant coffee, three mugs of water. (The water is good here; no taste of chlorine, no floaties in the water to set up house in my digestive tract.)
Maybe I'm hungry. Started the day with a Kellogg's protein bar (grainy;gag) and, an hour later, a bag of cashews I'd bought from Starbucks and tucked away in my suitcase.
Around noon I hear a thunk on the porch. My basket has arrived, and with it, a muslin bag, containing sheets, I suppose. It is Friday. Sheet-changing day. Isn't this premature? I've only slept two nights on the current bedding.

Lunch is a multi-seeded bagel, with a thick layer of hummus, a slice of white cheddar, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, spinach leaves, the topping half a cup of sprouts. It is delicious. I have a sudden desire to cry. I have not eaten this well in years. In my life? I am reminded of the lunches of my youth, and how those were carried into my adulthood. I am sad for my dad, who went to work each day with two peanut butter sandwiches on inexpensive white bread. A brown paper bag. At my laptop is my book, Bologna With the Red String. I am vaguely ashamed that I am at MacDowell eating chef-prepared meals, a sandwich with sprouts, and I am writing about bologna and pickleloaf. I have never bought sprouts in my life. There is no Miracle Whip here at the colony. I should not be surprised.

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