Allowing for the Luxury of Time, Part Two

Last night I found myself feeling uninspired so I did what I always do and flipped my copy of Old Friend from Far Away open to a random page and read what was there. This quote was staring me in the face and I was writing it down before I even had a chance to realize that I have already quoted it once right here.

Don’t be hard on yourself...Allow the luxury of time, dreaming out the window, a little noodle walk through a dime store, then like a female lion after her prey, go directly into the animal art of pen across paper...

I know more but I don’t push it because there are things I don’t know that I want to come to me. I’m calling up understanding beyond myself. If I get too determined, too linear, I’ll miss the tugs of intuition at the periphery of my perceptions, the things I don’t want to say, the things I have never said...
— Natalie Goldberg, "Old Friend from Far Away"

Maybe it's time for me to find some new books.

Either way, I feel this way every year and can't seem to escape it--September is here and there are pumpkin beers on draft everywhere but it's still too hot. Students are back in school and I am another year away from it all with dishes in the sink and essays I wish I had written months ago.

So I wait.


Currently I'm reading a collection of letters between Julia Child and Avis DeVoto and I'm simultaneously charmed and discouraged by their passion for food and politics and friendship and life and everything in between. Sometimes I wonder, did Julia ever have days or even weeks where she just didn't write a thing? Where she went to bed early and felt uninspired and grateful for takeout or leftovers?

I like to think that she sometimes woke up with a stuffy nose and a headache and decided to take a nap in the afternoon instead of folding laundry or working on her next project, which is exactly what I did yesterday.

"I'm enjoying it immensely, as I've finally found a real and satisfying profession which will keep me busy well into the year 2,000. But I wish I had started in when I was 14 yrs. old,." she wrote about the cooking classes she started teaching with two other women in France.

I feel that about my own life sometimes. But other times it is clouded by self-doubt and worry.

I think we'd all be a little more successful (and happy) if we could only get out of our own way.