Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Acts of Creation

NOTE: I wrote "Acts of Creation" in 2002 during a fellowship at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. The essay was later published in Bylines 2005 Writer's Desk Calendar (I have a few extra copies, if anyone's interested).

I see the first glow of morning over the flat roof of my neighbor's cottage and the trees that lie beyond. The world is still and half formed at this time of day. Magpies warm up for their morning aria. The odd car passes by. Even the wind still sleeps. 

I've been up all night again, giving the tranquil hours over to acts of creation. Only now do I pull back the curtains and let the world creep inside. 

My desk lamp shines on, confident that I can't yet live without its light. The computer groans, being far less resilient, and would yawn if it could. The phone sulks on the corner of the desk, a muted instrument whose only connection to the outside world answered to a higher purpose. It sits next to the tissue box, at least. 

A borrowed dictionary has become fast friends with my travel-weary pocket diary. Between the two, I'm sure to find the right words at the right time. 

If ever fatigue threatens the creative urge, I have my bottomless coffee mug and two bottles of water standing guard nearby. Muscle relaxants linger for moments when my body seizes over the page, and Wite-Out for moments when the words follow suit. 

When all the night's work is behind me, yet my mind continues on, I have only to clip and file my nails while awaiting my next inspiration.

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