With the change of seasons, I resumed working my veggie gardens. Each year I launch into transforming new planting areas. Time and again, knee- and wrist-deep in soil, breakthroughs arrive concerning a scene I’m writing. Or perhaps a warbler’s song quickens recall of buried memories—mushroom hunting with my Mom, getting lost in a Michigan woods. And up I get, half-running to the deck, peeling off muddy shoes and gloves in my rush to trap words with pencil or laptop. By the time I return to outside projects, my mind’s still pacing the shores of some distant river, or gazing into night skies a thousand miles away.
That’s the shape-shifting focus of being a writer, for me! Times I’m totally, physically engaged in messy activity, mental tumblers roll and click, with insights that won’t arrive on my terms. And I’ve turned that reality to my advantage, so I’ve never felt the pang of “writer’s block,” whatever peculiar definition that holds for others.
I spread out chipped Blue Willow china across the outdoor working surface used for mosaic constructions. The wind whipped volleys of rain just off the deck as I pieced together the image in my mind: a bluebird. The project’s not completed yet, but it appears here, as is so far.
A half-dozen memories flooded my mind, from last summer’s visit of a beloved young relative. She’d also pressed bits of broken tile and glass for her mosaic. I remembered things never recorded, so moved to my keyboard and spent a bit of time locking words into shape. Then I texted her, with a picture of my efforts, sending love. Sweet life!