—From EF—

I’m late.

I’ve been dithering and finding myself stymied for five days about what I should have written and posted on last Sunday. My mind has been grey goop and nothing attractive has floundered to the surface. So in an attempt to do a full-court press against the goop, here’s what I’ve discovered.

I’ve been in complete stasis on writing the memoir for weeks now. I excused that for a while by reasoning that filing the obnoxious tax returns for our publishing partnership is always like trying to de-flea the whole house. And then there’s been the construction project of building an addition to our front entry, creating an attractive and useful little anteroom that prevents devious cats from getting out into the wide world. Now I’ve dealt with both and am still swimming in goop. The obvious conclusion is that I need a better idea of why I’m writing the damn memoir.

The first volume had a pretty clear trajectory: how to convince myself that I really exist and deserve to do that. (Early childhood provided a lot of negatives to that idea.) OK, Survival, a good theme. What’s next? I’ve spent lovely hours in the time just before dawn, when my body is still warm and cuddled in covers, letting the mind roam, and something has come to the surface.

My next 25 years were, I think, a process of creative nesting. Finding spaces in which to make work, creating a home where our kids could find themselves, and finding a head-space where any of this is worth it. I’ve realized that the big arc of this 25 years was the error of listening to the outside voices that urged us to settle down, grow, and let go of the big live-wires that had produced our best work. Get a building, get a board, promote a season, lock it all in. Settle down, grow up.

And eventually we hit the wall, twice, and left Lancaster for Philly and left Philly for California. I’ve been rendered soggy by seeing how this process has hit dead ends. What I’ve missed is how ecstatic the high points were along the way. That’s what’s worth writing about. I’m about to rev up again.     


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