Monday, November 18, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. Robert Frost
Last night, at about 1:45 in the morning, I mailed off to the publisher a writing project I have been working on for the last several months. Let me tell you a little about how normal life unravels when I am in the final stages of something like this. Every single article of clothing in the house ends up in the dirty laundry. Dishes pile into giant peaks in the sink. The kids eat ramen noodles every day for lunch and dinner, peanut-butter sandwiches for breakfast. At this very moment, there are leaves fluttering all along the entryway ... inside the house. I can't stay focused on any of the mundane, everyday tasks that make life run fairly smoothly. I stop doing anything that reeks of domesticity. And since no one else in the household picks up the slack, everything goes to hell.

Coming out of this haze, during which I feel guilty about doing anything but work on the project (including eating, sleeping, reading anything other than what I'm working on, enjoying anything ...), is like filling my lungs with the freshest air I've ever experienced (I think, really, that I even forget to breathe properly). The momentary sense of accomplishment (the thought, there .... that's done ... for now) is thrilling.

The light at the end of the tunnel, however, usually leads to another tunnel, so that moment doesn't last long. I guess that's how we get somewhere interesting. How we move mountains that seem insurmountable. A/J
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