Friday, October 22, 2010


Coming back from a two-week vacation and launching right into work has meant that the house is full of stacks of (clean) laundry; half-unpacked laundry, water bottles, nearly empty containers of sunblock, shoes and sandals, boarding passes and dinner receipts, national parks brochures, guidebooks.

All great stuff! But it's meant that my normally only-half-messy workspace has become an obstacle course that forces me to high-step through debris to get to the computer.

I deliberately set up my writing space in a small and dark room, facing a bulletin board rather than a window (which is closed most of the time anyway, since I write before dawn). I like the idea of not having a view or a beautiful room to distract me. But when I can't even see the carpet, the mess itself is a distraction. So it has to go.

The same thing goes for "the shop" (garage) where I'm building the boat. How many cars fit into a two-car garage? None, if it's already filled with one boat, a second half-built boat, a kayak, two bikes, a table saw, a workbench, and stacks of lumber. To say nothing of the crickets.

And I can tolerate drifts of wood shavings; clamps not put back in their correct spots (hung to the right of the bench, if you please), dulled pencils in nearly every little crevice of the boat, and so on. But when I spend more time avoiding obstacles than working, it's time to clean up.

It always seems aggravating to be cleaning instead of working, so I'll usually clean a little, work a little, clean a little, etc. Here's the secret, though: cleaning never takes as long as I think.

Still, on a bright and cool October day, with the wind tearing through leaves the color of fire, I think of glittering blue water or the frustrating and beautiful intricacies of my book, and wish I could just get down to work.

1 comment:

bjb said...

Tis' the season for the crickets! They're looking for nice snuggy warm spaces to hang out. Just accept them along with the wood shavings as neighbors in the garage.