It was a fuzzy morning at the coffee shop. I was looking at my notebook but nothing much was coming. You can’t divorce the day to day events from the art. The day to day was getting me down. The old lament. No work. A dwindling bank account. No prospects. Well, prospects, but they all seemed to be on the distant horizon.
The last three months of teaching had rendered me absolutely exhausted, I had not done enough of the work I need to do, artistically. It’s the old conundrum, how does one balance the need to make a living and pay the rent with the need to create art? Could I endure a few tough months, financially, in order to finish my book of poems?
And then all the other stuff. What’s going on with my hair? Why when I am walking everywhere and riding my bike everywhere am I unable to shed these 20 pounds? And the state of my wardrobe. What’s going on there? And the state of my love life which even by my own bizarre standards is, well, bizarre. And my hair, always my hair concerns. All these thoughts circulating in my brain, not exactly a healthy state of mind for creating great art.
A friend passed by and asked, “What are you working on?”
The truthful answer would have been, “Not much.” But I put on a brave face and said, “Trying to finish off my book of poetry.”
He asked, “How long have you been working on that?”
I said, “All my life.”
He took his seat and I went back to staring at my notebook. And then a man I have never seen before approached me and said, “Sorry to interrupt you but I heard what you said and I just thought that was so profound I had to say something. I know what you do, and I know you do it for not much money or recognition, but I wanted you to know that some of us appreciate you, and admire what you do.”
And then he left. I took a deep breath. I swear to God, if only one person is listening, just knowing that gives you the strength to carry on.
I squared my shoulders and picked up my pen and started to write.
Thanks for reading . . .