It is 6AM and I am trying my first write-at-6:00 regiment. Miraculously Silas, who woke at 6, is quiet in his bed now. Toni Morrison used to write in the mornings before her kids woke up; she called it “writing into the light.” That phrasing makes facing a dark, cold house more appealing.
Last Sunday I drove up to Santa Monica and met two friends from college. One I hadn’t seen for 6 years and the other for 3. You never know how these reunions will go – friends I had once lived such intertwined lives with but whom I’ve had almost no contact with since. But there we were, so many years later, walking in Santa Monica of all places, not our predictable reunion spot post-Atlanta, feeling familiar. Most striking was that in all the familiarity of mannerisms and stories, there was something markedly different -- we were now women. As we had bustled through college with all the brimming emotions and wants, we had gripped questions, strung with insecurities, about who we were. But this weekend I saw that we’d spent the last years finding our edges, realizing our selves more, exploring work we love, solidifying. That may sound a bit overstated, but watching Saralyn talk, even her face looked changed wearing such a confidence.
While standing in the sun with her one-year-old, Kara Jane, Eli asked me about my writing. I felt myself shift weight from one foot to the other as I wound through my answer, mentioning a stubborn manuscript that won’t grow, relentless rejections, being in a “new season,” and heard myself finally conclude: “so I’m not really writing at the moment.” She looked into my face with bent eyebrows: “And you’re really OK with that?” “Yeah, I really am. It just makes sense right now…”
But she, who hasn’t seen me for more years than we spent together in college, still knows how to see through me and push just enough with one more question. So here I am, starting in a small way, greeting the keyboard at 6AM.