“As I write these words, dust drifts across the floor. Stacks of urgent mail grow tall. The dollhouse curtains stay unmade. Laundry ripens.
I need you to understand that I write because poems do not break. They do not follow a clock. Like us, they breathe the air of hamburgers frying, but it is air charged with eternity. The breakfast dishes would steal my words, my aching words.”
–Suzanne Clark, Unwashed Dishes, Sketches of Home
When I first read these sentences from Suzanne Clark, I felt as if she had peaked inside my heart and then jotted down what she found. The breakfast dishes…the mopping…the errands that need done…they would steal my words, my aching words. And, most of the time, they do. I have six small humans looking to me for food, clothes, shelter and nurture, and these six are not tidy. They leave hand prints on the walls, nose smudges on the windows, juice spills on the floor, and clutter–oh, the clutter.
But I find that whatever can be gotten rid of from my day, whatever can legitimately be put off or ignored, whatever moments I can rightly claim as my own, I fill them with words. I squeeze in an hour before dinner, or an hour after the children bed down for the night. Errands pile up for weeks on end because I’d rather spend my one afternoon on a weekend at the coffee shop writing than driving all over town and tending to things that need done.
Writing straightens my brain. It’s probably not too large of a leap to say it straightens my life.
This will be my last post on the subject of writing itself. From here on out, I’ll be “just” writing and we’ll see where it goes!