Off-kilter

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It’s a long week, this one. I’ve had a lot on my plate, and therefore have been unable to put into practice, with regularity and insularity, my word-of-the-year: WRITE. The first two weeks of January stand out as this kind of cocooned ideal, during which there seemed just the right balance of, well, everything. Early mornings, quiet concentration during school hours, busy after-school activities, family suppers, time to unwind late in the evening. Add onto the schedule, and something has to give. And that something is so often this: WRITE.

To write takes inward focus. Publicity work pulls the energy outward. There’s attention, and there’s attention: two different meanings for that word. I can’t and won’t complain about receiving attention for my writing, because this is what sustains a career. But how to receive attention and also remain vigilant and protective of my quiet time? I haven’t figured it out. I’d like to ask someone who would know better than I do, someone who’s received far more attention and yet continues to make space and time to write. Someone like Miriam Toews. I wish I’d asked her last fall when I had the chance, when we were in the same place together, on several occasions.

It’s winter. This is good inward-delving time, always has been. The pull is to this keyboard and screen, which take me into my mind, into scenes that surprise and intrigue me, chasing characters I’ll never meet, yet who feel completely real. I don’t know why I want to do this, nor what practical use it could possibly serve, yet here’s where I’m drawn: into the imagination.

Maybe because real life is hard, sad? Maybe I’m seeking symmetry and wholeness and the balance only fictional framing can offer.

xo, Carrie

Taking care
Lists; struggles; forgiveness; free time

1 Comment

  1. Carrie, your use of the word “kilter” made me think of a song I used to love, and use as a sort of anthem. We usually think of things as being out of kilter, and this was the first time I had ever heard the word used in the opposite way: “Only take the time/ From the helter skelter/ Every day you find/ Everything’s in kilter/ You don’t need a reason/ Let the day go on and on.”
    Sometimes I think that we try too hard to find the place that is perfect. But maybe that place is wherever we are, even if we feel there is somewhere else we should be (“Oh Auntie Em…”). I am still learning – I need to remind myself—to let the day go on.

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