Once a week, the guys with leaf blowers come to blow the leaves off the walkways and out of the street. My cat shimmies under the couch and puts her paws over her ears. I pace the house like a caged animal. The blowers make this droning, nerve-battering sound. It makes my skin ache. It makes it hard for me to get a full breath. There they are, outside my window, relentless. No writing happens. No clear thinking happens. Just shallow breaths and cranky thoughts.
I am also acutely, ironically aware that those leaf blowers also exist inside my head—the incessant droning, nerve-battering barrage of voices telling me to slow down, speed up, do more, do less, be more generous, don’t be so judgmental, don’t fret, fret, pay attention, look the other way, look this way…
It’s exhausting. And it makes writing a good, clean, evocative sentence near impossible. So every once in a while, I need to clear my head and clear out of town. I need to sit in the middle of silence, stare at the bark of a tree, listen to the pine needles, inhale and let that breath infuse my body. I need to reboot. Recharge. Reimagine.
So (inhale, big breath), that’s what I’m going to do. Because somewhere in my linty mind, I know that my work is only as powerful as my ability to be present, to be able to hear myself think and feel and imagine. And to do, that I must banish the internal leaf blowers. I must dip into the pool of stillness. I must take time to disengage. I must let nature have her way with me.
See you in a week!