Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I wish you could have been there with me.

To experience the rush of winding through the crowds of 12,000 writers carrying bags fills with books and pens and notebooks. To stop for coffee and a scone on the walk from my hotel to the Convention Center, the only real decisions ahead being which panels to choose from. To laugh with me at all the cliches - the mysterious young man in a long black peacoat who sits in a chair, opens his moleskin, and looks around to make observations about all the other attendees, or the young, hip panelist who used the word "narrative" and the qualifier "sort of" after every other word (i.e. he had a... sort of difficult time living out his narrative when he had these... sort of hallucinations...). To discuss excitedly the reading Gregory Martin did of his Stories for Boys and the book on aboriginals in Australia that Amanda Webster is writing.

When I left Seattle, I walked through the airport wheeling behind me my carry-on, heavy with books and journals I'd acquired, while my heart - eager and hungry for what is next - pulled me forward.

I wish that because now I am back and real life has gotten its hold on me and forced me to settle into its regularity and commitments. I am thinking about groceries and cleaning my toilet and when I'll make time for lunch with my friend who works down the block instead of what books I want to read next and the new ideas I have for free writing.

At the conference I wore a badge on a lanyard around my neck to enter the convention center and gain access to the panels and speakers. I hung my pass up on the mirror above my dresser when I got home, knowing I wanted to keep it but not sure why I felt a need to display it. Now it's there as a reminder that I have access. The invitation to that kind of excitement and motivation is a standing one - I'm trying to hold on to this even while I wash dishes and sit in traffic.

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