I have many metaphors to explain how my mind works. I swap them out at will, using whichever one most aptly describes my experience at that moment. Today I am picturing my life as a workspace with tables, shelves, cupboards, and filing cabinets. I am finally to a place where I am finishing off projects and clearing tables that have been buried for months. I’ve had time to pull out the contents of the parenting shelves and look at the work that needs to be done there. I’ve also been shuffling things around on the housekeeping shelf. These are good things. I’m glad to have time to give them some of my focused attention, rather than scattered maintenance.
Behind me is a cupboard. The door on the cupboard is closed. In that cupboard are my writer thoughts. I put them away and shut the door once I saw how busy I was. I simply could not afford to trip over them while in the midst of other things. For the first while I added things to the cupboard, supplies for future need. I closed the door firmly each time. But as the busy time prolonged, my brain simply stopped collecting writerly thoughts. I let them go rather than trying to store them. So the thoughts in the cupboard waited. When I open the cupboard I will find everything stacked away neatly. It will take me some time and effort to pull the ideas out, remember where I was, and re-teach my brain to collect those writerly thoughts. I know how it will go because I’ve put away writer thoughts many times over the years. Sometimes I grieved at having to put them away. This time I did not, because I knew they would wait for me.
I have not opened the cupboard yet. I’m a little afraid to. Usually a hiatus from writing is followed by a period of intense creativity. I’m not ready for that. I still want to rest. I want to finish off the summer conventions. I want to get the kids settled in school. But I’m not sure I’ll wait that long. Because I could keep making excuses for why I should wait. The things I keep in that cupboard bring me joy even though they are a lot of work. I am almost rested enough to want that work again. I did not open the cupboard today, but I did some preparatory work. I finally installed Word onto my laptop, which has been without a word processor since it crashed several months ago. The time is near, but for now I’ll turn away from the cupboard and put the kids to bed.