When you live in a city, you see people doing strange things and you’re supposed to pretend not to notice. Today, there was a very large man smacking his lips in the front handicapped seats on the bus. This evening a man danced as though he was in a club, doing some version of the butterfly (but it was more like a hummingbird), in the lobby of Filene’s and DSW. And then a truck took the side-view mirror off of a bus and didn’t stop.
This is part of the reason I never bought into the whole idea of tortured writer, sequestered in her attic writing room, socially awkward, venturing outside only for coffee and a smoke in an insufficiently warm black jacket. I always sort of thought that in order to have anything to write about, we need to have experiences. There’ve been countless occasions wherein I’ve been inspired by a film I saw or an exhibit I went to or a show I saw. My experience volunteering the Philippines inspired the novel I am working on now.
While many ideas associated with the reclusive writer do actually appeal to me: the attic writing room sounds nice, the idea of having nothing to do all day other than write and go out for coffee sounds lovely. But I go stir crazy enough as it is. And I have interests outside writing.
I am supposed to be keeping an interest log to document said outside interests. I am not entirely sure I can identify these things. What is it I love to do?
I love going to the gym. It eats up a lot of my time, but I am just not mentally the same if I don’t exercise at least once a day. Walking is therapeutic for me. It’s almost like meditation, my mind feels like it’s in a state of flow but is highly active, sorting things out and putting things in order, with little effort.
I enjoy movies but don’t go as often as I used to. (My favorite films, the ones that have inspired me most, are films I saw by myself and I knew I would love them before I walked into the theater. Two of my favorite films are Garden State and Lost in Translation. They both hit a melancholy note so familiar yet so luminescent and inspiring. Interestingly, both directors wrote the screenplays for their respective films. And both use music so purposefully and evocatively.) Maybe I need to resolve to seek out films I know I want to see and go see them, even if I end up going alone. I know that me and a film, alone, can be a transformative experience.
I like food. I like cooking. I have a gift certificate for a class at the Institute of Culinary Education that I need to use. Perhaps learning something new about food and cooking would open my mind in some way.
I could take piano lessons again. I loved being able to play music.
I love public radio. I heard Ira Glass acknowledging the intern who served This American Life and I thought it had to be the best internship in the entire county. I could volunteer, perhaps. I already support the station during even pledge drive. (They break me down!)
I like the idea of travel, but often get stress-out by the prospect. After watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in Istanbul, I want to go. For our honeymoon we said. With Greece.
Most of all, I think I would like a life like the one I pretended to live yesterday, when my office (regular job) was closed. I pretended to live a day in the life I wish I lived for more than a day. The life of a writer. I went to the gym, I did some food shopping. I showered and ate. Then I wrote. I set a timer. Then I took CDs to Housing Works and clothes and old pillows to the Thrift Shop, then I came home, had a snack and wrote some more. It was a glimpse into the life I want. The life I’ll work toward.