It takes four days to pack up a life. My life.
It takes one day to move it across town.
It takes ten days and counting to unpack and put it back together again.
It takes three trips to the recycling, garbage, and share shed to let go of what no longer fits and what is no longer needed.
Some things stay the same. I am writing, imagining, drawing, creating. I am grocery shopping, bill paying, meal making. But all these same things have shifted. They’ve changed shape and changed place. I have to do them slightly differently. Stop and think about which cupboard is hiding the measuring spoons. Stop and study the words next to the buttons on the washing machine, and search for where the soap goes.
Nothing is automatic right now.
Writing is what is saving me. I have a different view from my studio window. I have a different studio. But the writing is the same. I have a place to stand that is familiar. From here, I can see the whole picture and find myself in it.
I will find my balance again.
I like my new space. Lots of windows, lots of light. Room to move and imagine.
My new address starts with the word ‘Downstairs’. I like that. It is an actual place, Downstairs. Unlike a random number and street name that never conjure a picture for me, Downstairs gives me a space I can imagine.
I am now the writer Downstairs. This is good, and I’ll tell you why.
Stephen King’s muse is a guy who lives in the basement. True. Just read ‘On Writing’. In my copy of the book, he is on page 144. This muse-guy has awesome ideas, as in a constant flow of.
My theory is Downstairs must be fertile ground to grow ideas for writing. So here I am, writing (and living) Downstairs.
Next door to the boys in the basement, there is now a girl creating whatever she pleases and writing wherever the words take her.
Mentioned in this post:
‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ by Stephen King, Scribner, 2000