Bookmark #594

Today, I am in bed under a warm quilt, and these words come from a cup of chamomile with honey. We must shuffle things now and then. The person I am when I sit at the desk is not the person I am when I lie in bed, cosy and tired. The person I am here in this city—the one that seems to never let go of me—is not the person I am where I was for the last three days. We are what we are around. Of course, some parts are non-negotiable, but the rest, we must disturb now and then. We must rock the boat, not to drown ourselves, but to check whether we have not died already. The simplest clinging to life, the panicked grip on the invisible gunnels of the proverbial boat, means you are still alive. The desire for your regular days, when you are entirely out of them, suggests there is a life to return to—a well-made one. Now, I am here, and I am exhausted, but you have to do what you must do, so I must sit and write, no matter how long it takes me. The trick to building a life you crave is to go out of your way to demand what it needs you to do. They have enough parables and maxims about still water already, and for me to add one more to the kitty would not make a difference. You know how they are, and you know how things go. You do not need me.

Just as I thought of the water, a cold draft seems to have blown from nowhere since all the doors and windows are shut tight, as they should be towards the end of November. But the draft is there, for I have felt it. Life is seldom the physical truth; it is often our experience. I know the yellow lamp, glowing so far away on the bookshelf, does not make the room warmer, but my mind tells me otherwise when it sees it. This is how we live—in our own fictions and stories, and that is what it is to create a life you enjoy living: to write a story. You write it one day at a time, and you write the best story you know. The rest falls into place eventually.

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