Natalie Goldberg has a stellar collection and everything she writes is like star dust for the writer's soul. I just finished reading Long Quiet Highway, one of her memoirs. I am diving into Writing Down the Bones, for the second time and totally head over heels. One of my favorite parts is that she frames writing as a practice. Sitting down at the table, pulling out the pen and paper, and writing. Writing for the heart, from deep personal experience, first thoughts, raw, beautiful, words. I love how she acknowledges that sometimes it's hard to get the hands moving, the thoughts flowing. So she offers prompts. I thought about how I could start using some prompts in my #100daysproject as it could help me expand a little. So here we go.
Prompt: Tell about the quality of light coming through your window.
As I sit here in my work clothes, I am basking in warm, Pacific Northwest sunshine. It's April 15th, tax day, feeling my stomach gurgle from hunger pangs, but I know I need to sit here right now and write. The light reminds me of happy hour on patios, a 5pm kind of light. It's not quite summer, but the heat on my face reminds me to pull out the sunscreen for future outdoor playtime. The fish tank is illuminated in just the right way, as it sits in my writing nook. My engagement ring sparkles, which reminds me of all the happiness my partnership infuses into my life. I think about how I want the sun to shine like this on my wedding day, being surrounded by my tribe and by the sunshine, the essence of life.
Days like these are coveted in the Pacific Northwest, although the winter was so mild. Typically, this time of year comes around and we unravel and stretch, soaking it up like we haven't seen daylight for years. But this year, the blooms are early, because there was so much light. Maybe a contrast to what is happening in the world, a lot of darkness. I close my eyes and let the light sink into my face and skin, my hands typing away on the keyboard.
Still hungry, but savoring the warmth. My office has been so cold so it feels good to warm up. I wonder what it's like to not know the sunshine, to never have experienced it. Does that happen? The thought of it makes me sad. I glance over at my meditation cushion and the sunlight hits it in a way where it is split down the middle evenly: half of it dark covered in dark, the other in sunshine. Huh. Interesting how shadows show up in our lives. I get that.
The light that travels through is impermanent. Like everything else, yet I don't want it to be. I can barely see the lilac bush as I sit at my desk. They came early this year. The fragrance pops through usually at night. The flowers remind me of my birthday and how they would always bloom in May in Maine. There the light arrives a little later. The sun will set and my desk will feel different; more cold, more closed up. I will sleep and then wake up. The sun shining in again, but a different type of light will emerge. Morning light feels so different than afternoon light. A cat knows this, I am sure.
I unravel and stretch, needing something to eat. to the light: I honor you. Thank you.