Sunday, February 11, 2018

Heather Sweeney : My (small press) (non) Writing Day

The day begins with two crows streaming across my 6th story windows.  Across a dull, Southern California sky.  The marrow of a Monday morning.  I wish I could say that I kept going.  That I wrote a stunning, lyrical line.  I am on winter break and have time away from teaching.  My husband and I walk our dog to Starbucks for our morning coffees.  We take Dexter inside and no one cares.  He noses at the barrel of stuffed teddy bears.  On sale.  I toy with the idea of getting him one, but know he would ruin it within a 30 second time frame.  It has happened before, dismembered stuffing and thread.

I return.  And sit at the wooden table that once belonged to my grandparents.  I have not yet begun.  I am interrupted by thoughts of. I am not.  No. By thoughts of doubt.  Seeping in.  I am a wall of static.  A compost of fragments, unhinging. 

For some reason, I have three notebooks going at once.  Reason is overrated.  I try to move forward.  Even my succulents have died. I look around to locate myself.  Disarray.  Is this the lesson?  I take notes on my perimeter:  raw light, rock salt lamp, ghosts in wooden frames, blue slate window trim, a framed black and white drawing I did in high school.  Refraction.  Serrations of time. I become brittle with coffee.  I randomly open my nearest notebook: Do not drink whiskey with a man who cannot swim.

Here I am drifting.  I reach for the closest book, What Replaces Us When We Go by Julie Doxee. I just mistyped “go” as “god.”  Replacements are never subtle.  I open to page 35 and continue: “In the practice peephole a memory shook.”  I replace a memory with time.  And try to keep going.  Within splintering moments.  The wall, a graph of clouds.  Did I eat today?  This is not how this day was supposed to happen.

I weave between reading and writing.  For a time.  Beneath winter.  I scrape together the small phrases at the back of my throat.  I am a slow writer.  It’s ok to be slow.  I write:  We hover above the unbreaking waves on hooks of air.  The sea becomes us.

I pace, then put on some music:  Widowspeak.  The lyrics reveal:  “I start looking for you…”  Distraction.  Temporality.  I tweet a joke about Sex and The City.  I consider texting a friend.  Between isolation and oscillation.  I stop.  I am burdened with hunger.

I try to move on.  I burrow into this moment and breathe deep.   There are white hydrangeas dying and limp in a short vase on the table.  I should throw them away but don’t.  I have written exactly two sentences.  I sit here in the pause. 

Heather Sweeney lives in San Diego where she writes, does visual art, and teaches yoga.  Heather also does one-on-one Consciousness Coaching.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Hunger, La Vague, PorridgeMoonchild, Bad Pony, Shanti, Bombay Gin, Summer Stock, and Dusie.  You can also find her at: 

No comments:

Post a Comment