In times like these, one characteristic of a truly great writer is one who can resist the delete button. Repeatedly. Consistently. Incessantly. I’m reading Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” and I am really enjoying it but I’m not blown away. And this encourages me. I think: I could do this. Something like this. I could write. I just need to start believing in myself.
The thing is not a scarcity of subject matter. Quite the opposite. Like those novel-length menus in certain restaurants which I find overwhelming and laborious to peruse and quite frankly embarrassingly overdone…a tree in the forest analogy comes to mind?
Too much choice.
Tonight I had wanted to go running on the indoor track. But after a couple of outdoor runs in the false spring that has already left, I was unmotivated to do so. I need to do laundry. I need to mark. I just couldn’t. I had really wanted to write. I have been totally blocked. Type. Delete. Type. Delete. I could only read.
At least I made a soup.
A version of the Portugese soup Caldo Verde. Kale. I was taught to remove the stems but tonight I thought: Why? Why waste? Leek. Same. Root to tip. All in. Celery. Two chicken breasts instead of sausage. Chopped. Raw. Thrown in the water. Not a dash of salt. And boil. I suppose one day near the end of my life we will see if my way was okay after all.
And I don’t just mean the soup.
I have my apartment to myself tonight. My next Airbnb guests arrive tonight after two in the morning! That doesn’t happen often and I am not looking forward to the disrupted sleep but it won’t be the end of the world, either, will it? Despite all the things I had meant to do this evening, still I have enjoyed my lovely home, I have read from a good book and I have made a great soup.
I am telling me more than I am telling you, you see.
The moon is full and beautiful and my wine glass is sadly empty. I should have run out much earlier to get some wine. How it has calmed me from what I can only describe as an oxymoronic state of internal frantic indecision that renders me physically frozen. Useless. Unproductive. Terrorized by the looming realization that I am not going to go to that indoor track after all. I tried to go to the track. I tried to write. I tried to tell myself it was all okay because I was enjoying my lovely home and was reading from a good book and was making a great soup. But all I could see was what I hadn’t done and not what I had.
And this is why I write about writing and dream about writing. But don’t. Actually. Write.
Type. Delete. Type. Delete.
The soup is surprisingly delicious.