More Sitting Around Doing Nothing

That’s right hurry up and sit there.

Ah.  The need to figure it out strikes me stupid some times.  I must make it happen is a dangerous place for me to go to.  When I find myself pages deep on an internet site trying to decipher travel visas versus work visas versus student visas in Paris I get insane in the membrane.

When I am trying to locate what it is that I will do in Paris once I’m there, job, study, nanny?  What?

Cray cray.

Or when I am on Craiglist Paris looking at apartments.  Ok, knock it off sweet heart, this is not the answer.

The answer is to not try to figure it out.  The answer is to take the opposite action than what I think I should.  My brain is wiley and likes to scheme.

Scheming will not get me to Paris.  It will just drive me crazy.

So, I have been sitting still a lot more.  Meditating.  Just being.  I have been doing the things that I like to do here in San Francisco.  Which, to be honest is not excruciatingly exciting.  I am not waiting to get to Paris to live my life how I want to.  I am doing the things I like now.

I like to sit in cafes and read–again with the Auster, who so deliciously described escaping into a movie theater in high summer that I felt the cool dark air envelop me and I could feel the velvet seat cushion against my skin as I nestled in for the matinee.

I like to sit and write.

I like to walk around the neighborhood and take photographs.

I love the stuff that I see.  For instance this just cracks me up, it’s been posted on the telephone poll outside my house now for a week.

Lost Cat

Lost Cat

On my days off I like to write.  On my days on I like to write.  So, I write.  What am I going to do when I go to Paris?  I will write.  So, I took extra time today and I did some editing on an essay and I submitted it.

I already got a response!  They want it, suggested a few edits and are going to run it in August or September.  How did I get so easily published?

By submitting somewhere that does not get a lot of submissions and will not be paying me.

I had a moment today when I realized that perhaps taking the focus off getting paid for my writing will help me just to get it out there.

I was asked this evening what I was going to be doing later and I said, writing.  She inquired asking if it was journaling, and I said, well, I do that, but that’s in the morning and at night I write a daily blog of about 1,000-1,500 words.

Oh, she said, so you’re a writer.

I said yes.


I am a writer.  And I don’t have to be paid to be a writer.  I can just be one.  Why that suddenly makes sense and gives me some lassitude to write more, I don’t know, but this realization has.

I feel like I know what my dream is, I always have–I want to write in Paris.

It was the same dream that had me leaving Wisconsin for San Francisco–I wanted to come out to San Francisco and be a writer.   Since that time I have written over 500 blog posts (527, but who’s counting?), three books in rough draft–one has been taken all the way into fifth draft, countless essays, poems, and probably close to 40 maybe 50 notebooks full of writing. I think I succeeded in my dream.

Oh, of course, what I was dreaming of was coming to San Francisco, writing the next great American novel and making a lot of money and going on book tour and being like stellar and awesome and famous and on Oprah’s book club.

I did not see the practise, the daily writing, as a goal, or a dream to fulfill, or the real meaning of sustaining my heart–how the writing sustains me, fills me, completes me somehow in a way I cannot otherwise be completed–I am nourished by the writing.  It is a kind of sustenance I could not do without.  Friends, family, love, air, water, food, God, recovery, words.

Ok, coffee, you too can be on the list.

Funny that I now do.

Funny, in a wonderful kind of way.

So, the focus is not on how to get to Paris.  I will buy a plane ticket.  Or where to live in Paris.  I will stay with Barnaby.  Or even what to do when I get to Paris.  I will write.

Thus, the doing it is in the doing here.  Write here.  My life won’t begin when I move to Paris.  My life is happening right now.

Yes, I will continue to take actions and I will probably continue to scheme, I cant’s help myself, but I will do my damnedest to bring it back to the moment, to the now, to the right here.

And write here.

I have a desk.  I have a bed.  I have a notebook or five.  I have some pens.  I have a rocking chair to sit in.  I have jazz.  I have tea.  I have friends.

Oh wonderful friends!  Joan pie is in the city!  I have gotten to see her three days in a row and I get to see her tomorrow too!  Love it.

I will sit on my days off and continue my practise.  I will sit on my days on and write and continue my practise.  I will submit and let go of trying to submit to get money, but just submit to practise doing it.

I may also take a class.  I ran into an old friend who is teaching a free writing class.  If it fits, I will check it out.

I will not beat myself up about money, career, men or the like.

I will take care of my own and my heart and I will keep letting myself do the simple, pleasurable things I really do enjoy the most–sitting in cafes, reading books, drinking coffee, sipping tea, writing, watching the world go by, walking around the neighborhood  and snapping a few photographs along the way.

This is a grand life.  I am a writer living in San Francisco.

One day soon I will be a writer living in Paris.

The only thing of real import is the writing, now, today.

And always.


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