Monday, April 11, 2016

picking up the trail / writing

After two weeks away from my desk, I wanted to get back to my writing again today. I thought to get myself organized yesterday evening and looked on the shelf where I keep my notebooks.

Yeah, I still prefer to write first draft longhand. It's time-consuming because I don't enjoy the bouts of typing after I've written, but I write more efficiently when I write by hand. I move forward. On a keyboard I keep rereading and foozling with words.

There was nothing current on the shelf. No fat notebook full of words I remembered having written, though I couldn't remember what they were. Nor my notes to keep track of dates and names. No timelines. Nothing! Nothing!

I was about to start shrieking when I recalled this tiny anxiety I sometimes get about all my notes being destroyed by a fire when I'm away from home. It's not an entirely groundless fear. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, Your house is on fire, Your children will burn. I live in an old neighbourhood of row houses and often hear the fire truck roaring by. I knew a man who had all paintings destroyed in a house fire. When I still worked at the hospital, I used to store my notebooks and USB pens in my locker when I went away. This time I could have taken everything to a friend's house, but I hadn't thought of it in time.

I recalled that I'd done something neurotic and probably useless to make myself feel better. A sandbag technique. But what? I searched my office and found nothing. I had to look through the house before I saw a CAKE TIN under a pile of folded clothing.

Had there been a fire, what are the chances that a cake tin would have kept my notes intact? Not good, but at least I didn't worry about them while away.

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