I am passionately interested in where I am as is a lone sailor sans sextant in ketch on the open ocean. What else is he supposed to be thinking about? Fortunately, like the sailor, I have at the moment a situation which allows me to devote considerable hunks of time to seeing what I can see, and trying to piece it together. I've learned the names of some color-patches, but not the meanings. I've read books . . .
In the writing of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard had a lot of time to do all the things that writers are wont to do: go for long walks in nature, research a lot of information that nobody else is interested in, sit in solitude and write. She filled twenty notebooks with her musings on nature and God and life before starting Pilgrim. She wrote the first half at her home and the second half in a library overlooked the roof of a building. No worries about money or health insurance. Just scribbling and thinking and scribbling some more.
My writing times are more stolen affairs. In between registering patients and correcting essays. Before I leave for work at 5:30 in the morning, after I get home from teaching. Waiting for football games to start. Waiting for dance lessons to end. Five minutes here. Forty-five minutes there. Sometimes, on a really good night, two hours in my university office with the doors closed and my desk light on.
I wish that I had the discipline to get up two hours before I went to work in order to write. However, that would allow me to get an average of about three to four hours of sleep a night. I may be able to do that for about two or three weeks. Then I would transform into a refugee from the cast of The Walking Dead.
So, for now, it's just tiny writing moments. Like right now. I'm sitting in McDonald's, sipping Coke Zero, and typing this post. When I'm done, I will take out my journal and start working on a new poem. I have about an hour left before I have to drive my daughter to her dance lesson and my zombie apocalypse of a day begins.
Saint Marty--the McDonald's Poet Laureate.