Under Some Enchantment

I have set my alarm with the sound of the ocean. When the tide comes in, I must stop writing this blog. When the tide comes in, I must do the next thing: prepare tomorrow’s script.

But before I prepare tomorrow’s script, I will set my alarm with the sound of the ocean. I will only give myself 30 minutes to prepare tomorrow’s script.

Then, the tide comes in. After that, I must do the next thing: edits. But before I do edits, I will set my alarm with the sound of the ocean.

When the tide comes in, I will go for a walk. We will buy the meat for tonight’s meal. It is the anniversary of my best friend’s father’s death. We will eat his favorite meal, and toast to his twinkling blue eyes, which are the color of my best friend’s eyes.

But before I go for a walk, I make sure the next tide will roar in my reminder. Waves, waves to tell me that my friend in Rhode Island and I will sit and talk on Skype.

How many months has it been since we have talked? Too many months. Sometimes we are too far out at sea. Everything aches.

After that, I think, my ocean alarms can cease, can surge back into the long foam, the long dark, and it will be family time: food and entertainment, the ability to lose one’s sense of time.

It is all too easy to lose my sense of time.

I sit to write.

Suddenly, I find myself on the other side of the house, three hours later. What have I done in that time? Not write. Anything but write. But I find it hard to remember what exactly I was doing.

I am like that woman who opens her mouth to say what’s wrong, but all that comes out are nursery rhymes and fairy tales–except far more mundane.

I do not know what I did do. A great series of empty tasks. All I know is that I haven’t written.

I sit to write.

Suddenly, I am striding the nested crescents at the bottom of the hill, looking at all the flame-new flowers of spring.

I sit to write.

Suddenly, I’m grocery shopping. Suddenly, dishes. Suddenly something needs to come clean that has been dirty for too long.

Time passes. I haven’t written.

I have been afraid of my alarms, these constant jerks to attention, the rigidity. I have been afraid of becoming that stern cousin in Jane Eyre, the cold one, who sets herself a task for every hour. I want to be Jane Eyre instead, who can enter her flow state and emerge victorious with a strange new painting. Who can be wholly absorbed in the task she sits to.

Instead, this enchantment.

I must invite absorption, snap out of this fugue. Why does it take me thirty minutes to put on my shoes? I don’t even need to look for them. They’re right where I left them.

It’s just… I sit to put on my shoes, and the next thing I know, I am in another room, brushing my teeth, examining the flame-new silver in my hair, making another meal I don’t need to eat.

No, no. I must break this enchantment.

I must choose the waves. Not to drown me. To call me back.

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