I am pretty much recovered from surgery and about to head out a conference then to Detroit for a concert. Honestly, after seeing shows constantly for decades, I’d rather have a cup of coffee with my grocery clerk and hear them talk about the history of their neighborhood than hear about one more rocker’s music collection. At least cutting up tapes of old organ & calliope recordings, throwing them into the air and then editing the bits of tape that landed on the floor together at random to create the middle 8 of “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” has a good story to it. But this upcoming show is a nostalgic one. Suppose they all are these days.
It’s time for me to get back to work and put streaming time into bigger stories. Honestly, I piled so much on that I can’t tell what’s next, just that I’m in a constant fast flow. It is strange how little I want to see anyone these days. Back in Chicago, when I had to rebuild energy, I could always find something stimulating like the Humanities Fest or a historic graveyard, hop a train to explore a new part of town, or just go read in the library at the Museum of Surgical Science.
Now I am feeling restless like there is nothing left to see here. At least I can retreat into imagination with the writing space. It is called HOWL, which stands for Hidden Oak Writer’s Lair. It is in a duplex I bought about six years ago though it feels like longer. I was pretty grief-stricken around that time after my dad died and got this place to house my sister. It had been vacant ten years and was a bit wrecked. We spent most of our time refinishing about every square inch of that it. About the fourth time redoing the yard and remodeling the interior, I decided that was enough of moving three steps forward and one step back. Coincidentally, it was apparent that I was going to lose all of my marbles if I did not get some silence and uninterrupted time to read, think, write, and just be on my own wavelength for a minute or two or a thousand. My husband is likely the kindest person I know, and having family has been good and stabilizing for me. But it also means that my constant stream of consciousness and blatantly unconscious to conscious stream of thought gets tucked away. And I get very tired of being so got dang entertaining all the time while trying to set aside pensive thought and deal with not being able to pick up a thread once a train of thought is broken. I cannot help this current and rather enjoy it than feel neurotic about it or deal with people who think the solution is not to think so much.
My father was a thinker and we always had a very easy and interesting flow. Writing is a lot like having a conversation with him. Anyway, I decided we had put too much love into this duplex not to take it to its full potential and I needed a place to go and just be me, so decided to make the place a short-term rental. We added many updates. And I spent a lot of time making it a place I want to be in by doing the DIY work to stretch the budget with carefully selected furniture pieces, artwork, cartouches and trim, soft bedding, and inspiration. I even found church doors and architectural ironwork, so it will get better and better a little at a time. I spent a lot of time on the yard which was originally a dead space full of poison ivy vines. Now it is a sanctuary with an eight foot tall privacy fence and both a gigantic sugar maple and massive black walnut tree in the back yard. It took time to understand what thrived with those trees in that soil and I spent many a day tearing at the roots and laying walkways. The ever-growing library is my favorite part of the place. It adds a official layer to my ongoing book search.
A couple of weeks ago I went to an antique sale and scored Updike’s Rabbit Run and Rabbit Redux, Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems, Writing Down The Bones, Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and Patti Smith’s Whitt. I was very touched to read Patti’s longing and wrote her a response piece that may or many not see the light of day.
HOWL has been booked every weekend since February, so it has been a lot of cleaning. But that means I have to make time and get to write there while the washing machine does its thing. Then I’ll take a break and mow the lawn or weed, sand a door or stain. Now people are starting to dip into the weekdays and it was just booked for over a week straight. Not sure how I feel about that. Though I love that one guest lives in town but wanted some writing time. That was kind of the point and I am happy to share the sense of peace I get from this space. Also, I have a lot audio work to catch up on, so my time will come.
Peace and sayanara