There’s a very good reason I haven’t blogged since I left Rome. On the one hand, I have been too busy relaxing, which I do realize is oxymoronic. On the other hand, I have almost been rendered creatively impotent by inspiration, which is so omnipresent and overwhelming here that at times it feels impossible to pin down. To make it sit still long enough to be observed and then fully recorded. The sound of the waves rolling over stones and heaving them back into the sea. The smell of salt and gardenias. The taste of the sea on your tongue in the form of a mussel. The gentle rocking of a boat and a breeze against your cheek. The bracing cold of your first foot hitting the water.
One of the hazards of being a writer is the inclination to constantly “write” even when you are not writing. When you are in a moment, you are contemporaneously writing that moment out in your head – trying to squirrel away the memories before they slip past you. A writer asks, “How will I remember everything?”
The answer? You won’t. That is one of the lessons the Riviera is teaching me. It is impossible to imprint moments of inspiration exactly as they happen. What is more important is to fully experience that moment in all of its richness while it is happening. Later it can be written down. That writing might not contain everything that was in the moment, but it is important to trust that everything that needs (or wants) to be written will be.
Some of you who have been reading the blog for while may think I am “going all Eckhart Tolle again” because of this post, this post, and this post. Others of you may just think I have “Riviera brain.” Perhaps both are true. Which is why I have established one practical method of keeping things close so I can write what needs to be written later, and that is to make a list whenever I have a few free moments. The list might include sentences but most often single words suffice. For example, here are a few words from my list that I will write about in some form at some time.
Each word is attached to a very specific event or feeling I want to remember and write about. So far I may only be writing single words, but I trust that more will come.
Today I spoke to Em on the phone. She asked me if I was finding lots of fun things for us to do once she and Jay arrive next week. I told her there were so many I could hardly count them. She said, “We’ll never have time to do them all Mommy.” I responded, “No sweetie. We’ll just have to enjoy the ones we do and plan to come back again someday…”