Cleaning and writing are both attempts to place order in the midst of chaos. Cleaning addresses my physical world, writing addresses my mind. Both provide immediate satisfaction. Plenty of disruptions abound when writing, as everyone easily finds me at my laptop. No one bothers me while I roar about with the vacuum. The problem is, cleaning does not last. Meals pass and the kitchen floor is once again full of crumbs. Family members whirl about creating dust. Hair and toothpaste splatter the bathroom. Clutter arrives with the daily mail and a new sort of mess arrives with the Christmas tree. Pretty as it is, there are pine needles. Because writing lasts, unless I forget to ‘back up’, which is my greatest fear instead of mildewed tile, I choose writing. I still clean, however my emotional investment is far less. Now as I breeze through the house with a dust rag, or the vacuum, my head is full of ideas and composition. I don’t care when shoes reappear by door, coats return to the newel post, or crumbs return to the kitchen counter. I have words to write and thoughts to think. This year, I especially expect the two to peacefully coexist because I have skipped the Christmas tree, hopped a plane from Virginia with most of my family, and landed in north Idaho at my daughter’s house. Overnight, more than a foot of snow has socked us in. A fire is blazing in the stove, wood chips are everywhere, puddles by the door, and my laptop is on the coffee table. After I hit ‘publish’, I will do a little sweeping, smile at my daughter as she makes tea, and think about that tricky scene in my novel and how to resolve the stilted dialogue.
This blog post was inspired by Emesereka. Thank you! http://worldofinkandyarn.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/how-witches-were-born-happy-halloween/